Behind a third quarter offensive outburst and stout interior defense, No. 22 Iowa State was able to take down West Virginia 77-61.

In their first meeting of the season, Iowa State fell on the road to the Mountaineers 73-64.

Defensively, Iowa State was able to hold West Virginia to 37.7 percent shooting from the floor and 18 total points in the paint. 

Iowa State's top stat leaders were Bridget Carleton and Kristin Scott.

Carleton finished the game just shy of a triple-double with 23 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Scott finished the game with 29 points and eight rebounds.

Coach Bill Fennelly said Iowa State played a complete game on both sides of the ball to down the Mountaineers.

The game was physical up to the half as the Cyclones tallied 18 points in the paint while holding West Virginia to four, which allowed Iowa State to lead 33-26. 

Iowa State was able to force the Mountaineers to commit eight turnovers.

West Virginia coach Mike Carey said his team failed to execute during the game and came out flat.

Three of those turnovers were charges called on Mountaineer players driving into the paint. Of the charges, Bridget Carleton drew two while Alexa Middleton drew one.

The Cyclones were also able to block four West Virginia shots in the first half.

By eliminating West Virginia's access to the paint, West Virginia was forced into shooting long and contested two-point shots late into the shot clock. In the first half, West Virginia shot 31 percent from the floor (9-29 shooting).

In contrast, Iowa State hit 37.9 percent of their shots from the floor (11-29 shooting).

The following quarter, Iowa State's suffocating defense continued as the Cyclone offense exploded.

In the third, Iowa State connected on 64.7 percent of their shots from the floor (11-17 shooting) and 50 percent of their three point tries (4-8 shooting).

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Iowa State senior Bridget Carleton defends the ball against West Virginia University junior Lucky Rudd (left) and freshman Kari Niblack (middle) during the last seven minutes of the fourth quarter. West Virginia University freshman Kari Niblack received her fourth foul during this play. The Cyclones won 77-61 against the Mountaineers.

During the quarter, Kristin Scott scored 15 points, had three rebounds, a block and a steal. She was extremely efficient in the quarter by only missing one three pointer. She connected on three other threes and three two point shots.

"We knew 25 was gonna pop," Carey said. "I don't know, I guess we didn't think she could score."

Carey said Scott was able to score no matter what adjustment his team made after her scoring output in the third quarter.

Fennelly said her ability to stretch the floor has been vital this season, which has made a significant difference offensively for Iowa State.

After the game, Fennelly and Carleton both said they credited Madi Wise on defense for holding Tynice Martin to six points. Martin is West Virginia's scoring leader and averages 17.3 points per game.

Fennelly said Wise's development on the defensive end has been as transformative for the Cyclone's success as Scott's development on the offensive end.

During play, Carleton said Wise was tasked with staying with Martin through the various screens West Virginia likes to use to get Martin the ball.

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Iowa State sophomore Madison Wise drives the ball down the court while being defended by West Virginia University senior Theresa Ekhelar (left) and freshman Madisen Smith (middle). Wise managed to pass the ball off to Iowa State sophomore Kristin Scott who scored a basket. The Cyclones won 77-61 against the Mountaineers.

"Right now, Madi Wise's main thing is to defend," Fennelly said. "She likes it, she's good at it."

Iowa State finished the third quarter with a lead of 61-37.

With a 24 point lead, Iowa State was able to cruise in the fourth quarter en route to a 77-61 win despite West Virginia's best shooting quarter of the night.

In the fourth, West Virginia hit 56.3 percent of their shots from the floor and 55.6 percent of their three point tries as they out scored Iowa State 24 to 16.

Entering the game, both teams sat at a record of 7-3 in the Big 12. The only teams ahead of Iowa State were No. 1 Baylor and No. 14 Texas. With the win, Iowa State was able to pass Texas in the conference standings. Both teams sit at 8-3 in conference play.

Along with making a deep post season run, Carleton said one of her goals is to win the Big 12 Conference.

Texas is was sitting at second in the Big 12 at 8-3 but beat the Cyclones earlier in the season. Iowa State lost its first game against Texas 64-62 in Ames, Iowa. For their second game against one another, Iowa State will travel to Austin, Texas to play the Longhorns on Mar. 2.

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