Iowa State returns home to host Drake Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum.
Iowa State played without All-Big 12 standout Chelsea Poppens, who missed the game with an injury suffered in Friday’s win over Loyola-Marymount. Christofferson was saddled with early foul trouble. Illinois trailed the Cyclones 44-40 with 7:02 remaining before Iowa State converted a pair of turnovers into five quick points. When Christofferson hit a trey with 3:27 remaining, the Cyclones led 60-45. Christofferson was 3-of-5 from three-point range.
Christofferson was named the tournament’s MVP and Brynn Williamson also made the all-tournament squad.
“This win was pretty special,” Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said. “We beat a Big Ten team to win a championship without our best player. Illinois came into the game averaging 81 points a game and we held them to 50. Anna Prins played one of her better games, holding (Illinois post player) Karisma Penn to 10 points when she came into the game averaging more than 20 points a game.”
Iowa State committed 15 turnovers in the first 25 minutes of the game but only two the rest of the way to clinch the victory. Ivory Crawford led Illinois with 11 points. She and Penn were the only Illini in double figures. The Cyclones held Illinois to just 33 percent shooting from the floor.
Williamson gave Iowa State some first-half breathing room, hitting a pair of threes with under five minutes left in the first half. The second make put the Cyclones 26-17 with just over three minutes left in the initial stanza. Williamson added 13 points and seven rebounds in Iowa State’s winning effort. The Iowa Staters’ biggest first-half lead came on a three-point play by Moody with 1:22 remaining that gave the Cyclones a 29-18 lead. Illinois had charged back to take a 32-31 lead early in the second half.