In front of 9,932 fans at Hilton Coliseum, the Cyclones beat Northern Iowa for the 11th consecutive time, 83-55, to move to 7-0 on the season.
It was a dominant team effort for the Cyclones, with every player getting minutes, and Hallie Christofferson leading all scorers with 22 points despite playing 22 minutes because of early foul trouble.
As Christofferson went to the bench just six minutes into the game, Nikki Moody pounced on the opportunity to carry more or a burden, scoring 16 points and dishing out eight assists.
"Tonight you saw Hallie get into foul trouble early, those are the times you will see who's going to step up," freshman Brynn Williamson said. "Nikki put up 16 points with Hallie on the bench which is huge. Teams are looking at us at having Hallie who can shoot the three, you have Seanna who can rebound and put the ball up, now they know Nikki Moody can score. From our team it's now we have five people on the floor who can score in different ways. How do you guard that?"
Two-time Big 12 Freshman of the week Seanna Johnson scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to secure her second straight double-double.
The game was tied 14-14 with 12:22 remaining in the first half before Iowa State went on a 16-0 run over the next six-plus minutes and never looked back.
"Iowa State is as efficient of an offensive team as I've seen in the country," Panthers head coach Tanya Warren said. "They don't take bad shots. They would miss a couple but then get offensive rebounds. When you are playing a team as efficient and can score from all five positions like Iowa State can, and you get them to miss, you better secure the rebound because if you give them two or three attempts at it, they will make you pay."
Said Moody: "We kept pushing the ball and tried to limit their threes as much as possible. We got them off their rhythm a little bit and [began to] attack them."
The Cyclones' first 16 points of the night — and 21 of 23 (91 percent) two-point baskets — were scored in the paint.
"I think our shot selection was really good," junior Brynn Williamson said. "I think we did a really good job of finding the open people. Nikki did a really good job of attacking the basket. When she does that it opens so many other things. UNI was playing off her she was able to get layups the entire night."
Bill Fennelly Quotes
"It looked like they were trying to take away the three point lines so we told our girls to try and beat them off the bounce. We told them [before the game] that UNI was going to try and take away our three point shot and to beat them off the bounce. Our kids did a good job of that early on. Then they began to help a little bit and we were able to get some threes later in the game. We have people who can beat people off the bounce and when that happens we are a little bit harder to guard and tonight we were really hard to guard."
"Nikki was very engaged from the beginning and managed the game well. We changed our offense a little bit and simplified some things. We ran a lot of stuff that we typically do at the end of the shot clock in the beginning to let her dictate."
ISU hosts Cal State Fullerton this Sunday at 2 p.m. Cal State Fullerton come to Ames 1-6 on the season, and losers of three straight. But the major story will revolve around the return of former Iowa State graduate assistant and video coordinator and the son of ISU's head coach, Steven Fennelly. The Cyclones still have some things they need to improve on in practice this week.
"Offensively we need to get into our offense a little bit quicker," Fennelly said. "When things don't go well we still look around and wait for Nikki to do something. I think the other players have to keep the flow of the game when the ball is moving to keep the offense moving. Defensively we have to pay more attention to detail, whether it's how you guard someone or [how to] play against the ball screen. There were times tonight for four minutes where they couldn't get near the basket. And then there were four times where it looked like we had three people guarding them. We had two ridiculously bad defensive mistakes tonight before the half which allowed them to get two threes. Tonight that doesn't hurt us, but down the road those six points will turn the game."