LAWRENCE, Kan. - Cold shooting doomed the Cyclones as the No. 21 Iowa State women's basketball team fell 58-47 to Kansas Sunday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse. ISU shot 16.7 percent (5-30) from the field in the second half and 27.3 percent (15-55) for the game, while sending the Jayhawks to the free throw line 19 times, where they scored 18 points.
The Cyclones dropped to 19-7 overall and 7-5 in the Big 12, while Kansas improved to 14-11 overall and 3-9 in the league. Nicky Wieben led the Cyclones with 19 points, including a pair of three-pointers and five free throws. She also posted seven rebounds. Heather Ezell and Alison Lacey each scored 10, while Kelsey Bolte led ISU on the boards with eight rebounds. Danielle McCray led Kansas with 24 points and 16 rebounds, while Sade Morris pitched in 16 points for KU.
"We have struggled with shooting all year and today it cost us the game," ISU head coach Bill Fennelly said. "I think it is the worst we've looked all year without question. We had a few defensive breakdowns that cost us at critical times, but it wasn't our defense that was the difference. You've got to score in this league, and going 15-for-55 isn't going to get it done."
The Cyclones trailed 26-24 at the break after committing nine turnovers and allowing Kansas to shoot 52.2 percent from the field. McCray and Morris each poured in eight points to lead the Jayhawks, while Wieben also led the Cyclones with eight points over the first 20 minutes.
KU jumped out to a 6-2 lead, but Ezell scored ISU's first five points to close the gap to one, 6-5. The Jayhawks continued to forge ahead, taking a 13-7 lead off a field goal by LaChelda Jacobs, but ISU found Wieben for five straight points, including a traditional three-point play, to trim the margin back to one, 13-12.
Wieben knocked down the Cyclones' first trey of the game to tie the contest and Lacey followed with a three-pointer to give ISU its first lead, 20-17. KU regained the advantage (23-22) off a score by Jacobs and Bolte hit a jumper as the teams traded leads, but McCray drained a three-pointer to give the Jayhawks the two-point halftime margin (26-24).
Kansas went on a 7-2 run out of the break to take a 33-27 lead with 17 minutes to play off a traditional three-point play by McCray. The Cyclones went 2-for-12 over the first eight minutes of the second half, giving KU a chance to hold onto its lead.
ISU went on a 6-0 run, getting four points for Ezell, to tie the game at 35-all with 10:43 to go. The lead went back and forth until McCray drained another three-pointer from the top of the key to open the KU margin back to five, 44-39, with eight minutes to go. The Cyclones went to the line and knocked down four consecutive free throws to trim the lead 44-43.
Morris slid down the baseline and scored an easy layup to put the Jayhawks up 50-46 with 2:34 to go. The Cyclones got a few open looks on the other end, but struggled to get one to fall. Morris went to the line for four straight free throws to extend the KU lead to eight, 54-46, with just over a minute to go. The Jayhawks continued to hit free throws down the stretch to earn the victory.
As the regular-season schedule winds down, the Cyclones return to Ames to play host to the Colorado Buffaloes Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum, in their next to last home game.