BOULDER, Colo. - The Iowa State women's basketball held its fifth consecutive opponent to 50 points or less extending its current winning streak to five as the Cyclones defeated Colorado 53-47 Saturday afternoon at the Coors Events Center.
Nicky Wieben led the Cyclones with 18 points, including going 2-for-2 from long range. Heather Ezell chipped in 11 points, including three triples. Alison Lacey and Kelsey Bolte led Iowa State on the boards with five rebounds each, as the Cyclones outrebounded the Buffaloes 33-29. Amanda Nisleit contributed seven points, four rebounds and five assists.
Iowa State improved to 18-4 overall and 6-2 in the Big 12, while Colorado dropped to 10-11 overall and 2-7 in the league. ISU shot 42.9 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point range. The Cyclones were held to just one three-pointer in the second half, after draining six in the first 20 minutes. Brittany Spears added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Buffaloes.
"When you only get 53 points and you win on the road, you have to rely on your defense and we did that," ISU head coach Bill Fennelly said. "The good teams find a way to win and we did, and I am proud of them for that."
Iowa State led 31-22 at the break after leading by as many as 18 with six minutes to go in the half. Wieben had 12 points and Ezell had 10 after 20 minutes of action. The Cyclones cooled off at the end of the half to shoot 44.4 percent from the field and 46.2 percent (6-13) from three-point range.
Wieben scored the Cyclones' first two field goals and Ezell hit one of her three treys in the half to give ISU a 7-3 lead early. CU cut the margin to one, but Wieben and Ezell combined for six straight points as the Cyclones expanded their lead to 13-6. Following a Buff score, ISU went on an 11-0 run that included a pair of three-pointers by Ezell and a trey by Amanda Nisleit for a 24-8 advantage.
Wieben hit her second three-pointer to put ISU up 31-13 with six minutes to go, but that was the end of the Iowa State scoring in the first half. Colorado went on a 9-0 run, including a pair of baskets by Spears, to close the halftime margin to nine (31-22).
CU quickly cut the margin to six coming out of the break (33-26) but Lacey converted a conventional three-point play to put the Cyclones up 10. The Buffs go back-to-back scores capped with a three-pointer by Hannah Skildum to again cut the ISU lead back to five (36-31).
Bolte hit her only three-pointer of the contest as she put the Cyclones back up 43-33 with 11:27 to play. Wieben got a pair of scores around a CU free throw as the Cyclones extended their lead to 13 (47-34). CU went on a 9-2 run, getting six of those nine points from Spears, as the Buffaloes sliced the lead to six (51-45). The Cyclones got two free throws and Spears scored one more field goal to close out the scoring.
The Cyclones will travel next to Norman, Okla., to face the second-ranked Oklahoma Sooners Wednesday at 7 p.m. Iowa State will return to Ames to take on No. 16/18 Texas at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at Hilton Coliseum. Fans are encouraged to participate in the Pink Zone game by joining the Cyclones in wearing pink to help raise breast cancer awareness.