DALLAS, TX — In the opening round of the Big 12 Championship, No. 5 Iowa State (18-12, 9-10 Big 12) took on No. 4 Oklahoma State (20-10, 10-9 Big 12), looking to boost its NCAA tournament résumé.
After finding themselves down by nearly 20 points, the Cyclones were able to rally back into the game in the final minutes. In the end, though, Oklahoma State came up with a 67-58 win, bouncing Iowa State from the conference tournament for the second year in a row.
Oklahoma State came out firing in the first half, shooting just more than 55 percent from the field. That, and a very slow offensive start plagued the Cyclones in the first half, sending them into the locker room down 34-21.
The problems the Cyclones faced in the first half didn’t go away, either. Oklahoma State was able to extend its lead after opening the half on a 7-2 run. In fact, after just five minutes of play in the second half, Oklahoma State found itself up 23 points.
Seanna Johnson, however, soon found a way to get back in the game. The sophomore guard scored 10 straight points midway through the second half, sparking a much needed ISU run.
Soon after, senior guard Nikki Moody’s shots started falling. After shooting just 1-of-10 from the field in the first half, Moody was able to come up with eight quick points, bringing the Cyclones back within 10 points.
By the peak of their run, the Cyclones had brought the game back within three points. In the final minutes, however, Oklahoma State was able to slowly pull away and eventually came up with the win.
Moody led the Cyclones in scoring with 17 points, but only shot 5-for-24 from the field. Johnson and Brynn Williamson followed close behind, finishing with 16 points apiece.
With the Cyclones now out of the Big 12 Championship, they will now have to turn their attention to the NCAA tournament. Without an automatic bid, Iowa State will have to wait for the NCAA selection committee to announce the field, which will happen at 7 p.m. March 16.