COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Sydney Carter made a pair of free throws with 2.4 seconds left as No. 14 Texas A&M escaped with a 66-64 win over Iowa State Sunday in Reed Arena. The outcome marks the third instance in which the Cyclones (11-8, 2-6 Big 12) have lost a close, heartbreaking road contest in Big 12 play. Texas A&M is 14-5 overall and 5-3 in the Big 12.
Sunday’s game was a reversal from Iowa State’s 59-33 loss to the Aggies on Jan. 14. The Cyclones took it right to Texas A&M. Chelsea Poppens led Iowa State with 22 points and nine rebounds, her ninth-career 20-point game. Hallie Christofferson had 13 points and six rebounds while Nikki Moody had 12 points, six rebounds and three assists for Iowa State. Adaora Elanu led the Aggies with 19 points.
Iowa State led 47-39 with 16:57 left in the game. But Texas A&M started pushing the ball inside and took a 53-52 lead midway through the second half. From there the teams traded baskets.
The game had a dramatic ending. Poppens was charged with a blocking foul during Texas A&M’s last charge up court that set up the final free throws. The Cyclones had two good looks at the basket in the final minutes and turned the ball over in the lane on the team’s next-to-last possession.
Three-pointers by Moody and Anna Prins kept Iowa State on pace with Texas A&M early in the first stanza, but then the Aggies reeled off eight straight points, all in the paint, to build a 17-10 lead.
Iowa State shot itself back into the game, taking its first lead on a Poppens layup with 5:12 left in the first half. Poppens’ score came during a stretch in which Iowa State hit five shots from three-point range, the last of which by Prins gave the Cyclones a 36-30 lead with 2:09 left in the first half. Iowa State led 39-35 at the break, paced by a 7-of-9 effort from three point range. Iowa State’s 56.5 percent shooting (13-23) in the first half was a season high.
The Cyclones play hosts to Oklahoma State Wednesday at 7 p.m. CST in Hilton Coliseum.