AMES – Iowa State (10-8, 1-6 Big 12) was defeated by No. 2 Baylor (18-1, 7-0 Big 12) on Wednesday night, falling 68-42 in Waco, Texas.
The guard duo of Bridget Carleton and Jadda Buckley combined to score 32 of Iowa State’s 42 points on the evening. Buckley was on the floor 32 minutes and was 5-13 from the floor. She had one assist and three turnovers.
The Cyclones shot a season-low 23.2 percent against a vaunted BU defensive squad.
Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly joked, “I think they’re bigger than our men’s team” and went so far as to predict a Baylor-Connecticut championship game at the Final Four in Dallas.
Meredith Burkhall hit just 1-of-11 from the floor, combining to miss all six shots from outside the arc.
“Baylor does that to a lot of players,” Fennelly said. “They aren’t the first two and won’t be the last two to walk out of here with a lot of goose eggs on their stat sheets.
“To their credit, they didn’t panic,” Fennelly said. “They ran their stuff, they pounded it inside on us. Instead of maybe a third-round knockout, they were just like bang, bang, bang, and finally we couldn’t answer the bell in the 10th round or something.”
Carleton scored seven points in the game’s first 10 minutes, as the Cyclones hung tough despite shooting just 4-of-13 in the opening quarter. A 7-0 run for the Lady Bears midway through the period put ISU in an early 11-5 hole, but Carleton scored five straight to stem the tide. Baylor had a 15-12 lead through one quarter.
An 8-0 run early in the second quarter would allow the home team some breathing room, as the Lady Bears showed why they are ranked the No. 2 team in the country. The Cyclones had trouble dealing with Baylor’s length and shots would not fall even when an open look presented itself. The result was Iowa State’s lowest-scoring half of the season, trailing 31-19 at half time, while shooting just 28 percent (7-of-25) from the floor.
The bright spot for ISU was on the defensive end of the floor, as Baylor’s 31 first-half points were its second-lowest output of the season. The only time the Lady Bears scored fewer in a game’s opening 20 minutes was vs. No. 1 UConn (29 points).
Baylor extended its lead to as many as 23 points behind a fast start following intermission. The Lady Bears put up 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting in the third quarter, as the Cyclone offense continued to rely heavily on Carleton and Buckley. Through three quarters the duo combined for 31 of Iowa State’s 34 points, as BU led 52-34 with 10 minutes to play.
Iowa State was unable to connect on a field goal in the final 10 minutes, scoring the rest of its points at the free throw line, led by Emily Durr with five in the final quarter. The Lady Bears would go on to win 68-42.
The Cyclone Player of the Game was Bridget Carleton. The sophomore had to carry the bulk of the offensive load throughout Wednesday night’s game, scoring 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting while grabbing five rebounds. Through three quarters, Carleton had half of ISU’s 34 points on a night when offensive production was hard to come by.
Iowa State extended its NCAA-record streak to 691 games with a made 3-pointer.
ISU’s nine turnovers match its low in conference play (at Texas Tech), and mark the fifth time this season with fewer than 10.
Baylor’s 31 first-half points were its second-fewest this season (29 vs. No. 1 UConn).
Iowa State will return home to face Kansas State on Saturday at 5 p.m. CT.