Iowa State's Balance Topples Buffaloes
BOULDER - Colorado had some solid performances Saturday night against Iowa State.
Senior Whitney Law hit the 20-point mark for the second time, sophomore Jackie McFarland recorded her 10th double-double of the season and sophomore Yari Escalera tied a season personal-best with three 3-point field goals.
However, those numbers were not enough to match those of the Cyclones.
Iowa State had six players score in double digits as the Cyclones defeated Colorado 86-71 in a Big 12 Conference game Saturday night at the Coors Events/Conference Center.
Colorado falls to 6-12 overall and 1-5 in the Big 12. Iowa State improves to 12-4 overall and 3-2 in league play, claiming its fourth straight win over the Buffaloes.
Law had a game-high 21 points, nearly matching her career-best of 22 scored against Colorado State earlier this season. She hit 8-of-15 from the field and tied a career-high with three 3-point field goals.
McFarland had 17 points and 10 rebounds to notch her 10th double-double of the season, tying for the fifth best single-season mark in team history.
ISU senior Brittany Wilkins had 21 points on 9-of-11 from the field to lead the Cyclones, but she had plenty of help. Guard Lyndsey Medders, the nation's leader in assists, added to her resume with a CU opponent record 14 assists to go along with 15 points. Nicky Wieben had 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench while Megan Ronhovde had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
"They were a very efficient team." CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "They were pretty experienced in their offense and know each other very well. They know their own strengths and weaknesses and they are very well coached. It was not our best effort on defense. We were taken out of position too often and there was unbelievable offensive effort on their part."
Iowa State had an answer for every Colorado success. Case in point, the Buffaloes enjoyed a season-low eight turnovers ? half their season average. The Cyclones countered with just four turnovers, breaking the previous CU opponent record low of six achieved by Oklahoma State on Feb. 16, 1985.
"I can't remember coaching a game when that has happened," McConnell-Miller said regarding ISU's four turnovers. "Medders was exceptional. Not that we weren't pressuring them, they just know their offense very well."
Law scored CU's first seven points of the game and had a total of 12 in the first half. Anna Nedovic had a pair of 3-pointers as the Buffs and Cyclones played near even for the first 10 minutes of the game.
Iowa State then embarked on a 19-8 run which set the tone for the rest of the contest. After hitting just six of their first 16 shots (.375), the Cyclones hit 12 of their last 17 (.706) to take a 44-34 lead at halftime. Wieben did the most damage for ISU, coming off the bench for 12 points on a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 4-of-5 from the line. Wilkins was also a perfect 4-of-4 in the first half, logging nine points and four rebounds.
Colorado closed the gap to as little as nine in the second half. Escalera hit two of her three 3-point field goals in a span of 35 seconds as CU cut the ISU lead to 70-61 with 7:22 remaining. Iowa State quickly put its lead back up to 16 on 3-pointers from Wilkins and Ronhovde and a Heather Ezell runner in the lane.
Colorado will continue Big 12 action on Saturday, Jan. 14, as the Buffaloes travel to play Kansas State in Manhattan. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. MST.