AMES, IOWA -- If Nikki Moody needed a reminder about the assists record that awaits her, she needed to look no further than the back of the Pete Taylor Media room where the record-holder awaited her.
Not long after Moody learned that she had tied Iowa State’s all-time assists record Tuesday night only via her postgame radio interview, and after avoiding giving the record much thought at present time during the postgame news conference, Lyndsey Medders (Fennelly) awaited Moody with a hug afterward.
“Just break the damn thing already,” Medders told her.
In reality, Moody now sits atop the list, tied with Medders. The senior dished out nine assists, including six in the game’s first half, to reach the top with 719 career assists as Iowa State beat Texas Tech, 59-47, in a game carrying NCAA tournament implications. The next assist, which should come on Senior Day on Saturday, will put Moody alone at the top.
“It’s just at the tip of your tongue,” Moody said. “It’s kind of right there, but either way I still have games to play.”
Behind Moody’s first-half performance, Iowa State began to pull away in the first half. The Cyclones, tied at 10-all, used a 15-4 run over a nearly five-minute span to take an 11-point lead. Iowa State eventually led by 12 at the break.
A sluggish start to the second half didn’t hamper the Cyclones as they never led by fewer than 10. Iowa State built a 19-point lead with 3:58 remaining when Moody found Kidd Blaskowsky, who hit a 3-pointer to help Moody tie the record.
Moody, who finished with 16 points, nine assists and five rebounds in the win, didn’t sit until the final 1:25 when Iowa State subbed.
“I was not aware of the numbers,” coach Bill Fennelly said when asked if he was aware of the record. “Unless someone tells me something really specific, I have no idea about any of the numbers. I usually look at the clock and look at the score. I was not aware of where she was… She’ll have plenty of time.”
Fennelly's focus was on picking up a much-needed win. The Cyclones moved to 8-8 in Big 12 play and reached 17 wins overall Tuesday ahead of facing No. 3 Baylor at Hilton Coliseum on Saturday. Iowa State is currently on the bubble for the NCAA tournament, but the latest win will help the cause.
Meanwhile, while Moody now sits atop Iowa State's record books for assists, she'll likely stand alone come Saturday night.
“I know it’s coming,” Medders said. “I want her to break it. It means that we’re winning games, it means that our team is playing well, it means that Iowa State basketball is in a great place.”
A sigh of relief for Moody? Well, kind of.
“Yeah, I guess,” Moody said. “I’m not really worried about it. I just want to beat Baylor on Senior Night, so that’s my focus.”