Christofferson's 29 points help ISU hold off Kansas

Rob Gray
Published: February 15 2014 | 8:27 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:42 am in
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  By Rob Gray

 Correspondent

 AMES — Iowa State forward Hallie Christofferson had a look about her.

Whether determined, tough, unyielding — or all of the above — she showed it in practice this week.

“And I thought she carried it to the court,” Cyclones Coach Bill Fennelly said.

Christofferson scored 29 points and grabbed eight rebounds as ISU outlasted Kansas 72-69 Saturday before 11,988 fans at Hilton Coliseum.

She hit the first of two 3-pointers 11 seconds into the game and made nine field goals and nine free throws as the Cyclones (17-7, 6-7 Big 12) ended a two-game skid.

“The plan was to get her the ball as much as her arms would allow her to catch it and lift it above her head,” Fennelly said.

Christofferson’s two free throws with 14.5 seconds left cemented the final score while easing painful memories of a heartbreaking 61-60 loss to TCU two weeks earlier.

And she almost sprinted to the stripe to take them.

“You had to want to step to the line and shoot,” Christofferson said.

That mentality would have helped the Jayhawks (12-14, 5-9), who couldn’t create a clean look at a possible game-tying 3-pointer despite having 14 seconds to work with.

Fennelly said his team defended the play — which it saw coming — “as hard as we could.”

Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson said something else.

“You’ve got to be more aggressive,” Henrickson said. “You’ve got to get one up at least.”

The Jayhawks got up plenty in the first half, riding 57 percent shooting to a 40-33 halftime lead.

Fennelly said his plan to double-team Kansas post Chelsea Gardner (19 points, 10 rebounds in 27 minutes) while limiting touches for Natalie Knight helped lead to that rate of accuracy.

“At halftime, my staff wisely told me, ‘Coach, we’ve got to do something else,” Fennelly said.

Part of that meant going zone at times, which helped prevent penetration.

It worked.

The Jayhawks shot 36 percent after the break and committed 10 of their 15 turnovers.

ISU, meanwhile, attempted just four 3-pointers in the second half, settling on a steady diet of Christofferson — and late, key drives by point guard Nikki Moody.

Moody three times put the Cyclones back up two points inside the final 4:09 and also hit a layup with 25 seconds left that turned a 69-68 deficit into a 70-69 lead.

“When you want to win, you want to win,” said Moody, who finished with 18 points and six assists.

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