By Rob Gray
AMES — Call the first five attempts extended warm-ups.
Iowa State sank seven first-half 3-pointers — four from new starter Kidd Blasowsky and three from point guard Nikki Moody — and beat Kansas State 84-65 before 11,480 fans Saturday at Hilton Coliseum.
“In the first half, our team played as good as we could play,” said Cyclones Coach Bill Fennelly said. “On a night where we needed to play that way.”
Moody led the No. 21 Cyclones with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Jadda Buckley added 14 off the bench.
“We started off not hitting,” Moody said. “We just had to keep (trying).”
Hallie Christofferson chipped in 15 points and Blaskowsky, in her second career start, sprinkled in 13 for ISU (16-5, 5-5 Big 12), which shot 42 percent from long distance in the first half and avenged an 80-74 loss two weeks ago at Manhattan, Kan.
“I think we’ve talked about this before,” said Christofferson, who only played 28 minutes partly because of foul trouble. “Once somebody starts hitting, then everybody starts hitting.”
The Cyclones had lost five of six games overall after an historic 14-0 start, but turned up nothing but smiles while holding the Wildcats (9-12, 3-7) to 27 percent shooting in the first half.
K-State — led by Ashia Woods’ 25 points — did unleash seven 3-pointers of their own late in the second half, but that was after the Cyclones had built a 30-point lead.
Just how hot was ISU on Saturday?
First, “hot” is a relative term, as ISU had shot 14.3 percent from long range in its three straight losses at home.
But Saturday, 3-pointers flowed from the offense after the 0 of 5 start.
The first salvo included two straight from Blaskowsky followed by one from Moody, which put the Cyclones ahead 18-6.
Moody hit two in a row moments later, leading to a 31-10 lead.
Blaskowsky drilled two straight late in the half and helped put ISU up 45-19 at the break.
“Kidd is a player that has the capability of scoring in bunches,” Fennelly said. “She is going to shoot. She’s not passing up shots that we’ve been passing up.”
Moody scored her 20 points in just six field goal attempts and shined throughout the first half, compiling 14 while grabbing five rebounds.
“Just rock solid,” Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said. “She is sort of the engine.”
The Cyclones shined as a team before the break even though Christofferson sat the final 7:12 after picking up her second foul.
Her absence has led to “deer in the headlights” looks in the past.
ISU scored the final seven points of a 13-0 run directly after Christofferson took seat.“I’m sitting in the bench going, ‘OK, we’ve got a 12, 13 14-point lead,’ Hallie goes to the bench, and it’s, ‘OK, we’ll slow the game down — just hang on until halftime,’” Fennelly said. “And it went the other way. We made shots.”