By Rob Gray
AMES — They flashed smiles — broad, carefree ones that signaled good times were in progress.
Solid 3-point shooting and a freewheeling mentality returned for the Iowa State women’s basketball team in Saturday’s 81-64 Big 12 win over Texas at Hilton Coliseum, and it showed in the players’ faces, as well as some facets of the stat sheet.
“Everyone contributed,” said Cyclones Coach Bill Fennelly, whose team improved to 18-8 and 7-8 in conference play. “It was one of those really special nights. Our kids played great. Phenomenal crowd.”
That crowd of 13,187 helped spur the Cyclones to a 13-0 run late in the second half that turned a 51-51 tie into a 64-51 lead.
“We decided it was time to go,” said Christofferson, who scored a team-high 20 points. “No more hanging around.”
Four ISU players scored in the defense-driven spurt, led by Nikki Moody’s five points and Christofferson’s four.
Moody finished with 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
“It was a big win,” Moody said. “I think we stepped up and took this one.”
Christofferson scored 17 of her points in the second half while moving up to seventh all-time on the program’s points chart (1,627).
The 6-3 senior from Hamlin shot only 4 of 15 from the field, but drilled 11 of 12 free throws while adding a game-high 11 rebounds.
Her double-double came with 6-7 Imani McGee-Stafford roaming the paint.
She finished with a game-high 26 points, but only had eight rebounds and three blocked shots. “I was just trying to post up hard and if she blocks me she blocks me, but I’m just going to go up strong every time,” Christofferson said.
All six Cyclones who played more than 10 minutes scored in double figures.
Brynn Williamson scored 15 points on three 3-pointers and Kidd Blaskowsky added three more long-distance baskets off the bench.
Texas fell to 17-10 overall and 8-7 in Big 12 play.
“We beat a really good team,” Fennelly said.