Late Run Catapults Drake Past ISU

At least one positive out of Wednesday night is that the Iowa State women can't look much worse. Bill Fennelly's team shot just under 28 percent as a team, turned the ball over 22 times and scored just two points in the final 14 minutes, while Drake surged to a 61-36 victory at the Knapp Center in Des Moines.

Nothing seemed to go right for the Cyclones from the opening tip, when they ran the wrong play and watched Bulldog guard Linda Sayavongchanh steal Lyndsey Medders' pass and go in for a layup. But as bad as they might have played, it still had a chance to win. ISU actually grabbed a 34-31 lead before totally falling apart.

"The last eight minutes was as bad as we've probably ever played," said Fennelly, who saw his team fall to 3-3 in non-conference play. "If I had an answer for it, I would have fixed it during the game. I don't know what happened. We started hurrying shots, missed some open shots and then stopped taking shots altogether."

That all added up to a 30-2 Bulldog run to end the game. ISU's lone points of the final 14-plus minutes came on a layup from Brittany Wilkins, which cut the deficit to 45-36 with 7:07 remaining. But Mandy Kappel hit a 3-pointer nine seconds later and Drake was off and running to 16 consecutive points to close it out.

"I thought we did a great job of sharing the ball," said first-year Bulldog coach Amy Stephens. "We changed our offensive sets at halftime and went to a new look. We had good ball movement tonight and the kids did a good job.

"On defense, we thought we could match the quickness of their guards and pressure them. They do a lot of back screens, double screens and flare screens. I credit a lot of it to the Maine game, because they do a lot of what Iowa State does. I thought our kids adjusted really well and got through those screens better."

The Cyclone offense never got into much of a rhythm, and even when they were able to score 16 straight points early in the second half to take the lead, was unable to sustain the momentum. Erica Junod and Medders, the heroes of last week's double-overtime victory over Iowa, combined to score just 11 points on 4-of-17 shooting.

Lisa Kriener led the team in scoring with seven points, but missed seven of her 10 shots and was benched midway through the second half after missing several open layups.

As a team, ISU was equally bad in both halves, hitting 7-of-25 shots in the opening stanza and 7-of-26 in the second session.

"It's pretty tough to win when you're doing that," Fennelly said. "Plus we only got to the free throw line three times. I'm frustrated. There a lot of different words you can use to describe it. We tried everything we could, but just couldn't find it. We missed some open shots and made bad decisions."

Drake, meanwhile, improved to 3-3 on the season thanks to 22 points from the backcourt tandem of Sayavongchanh and Erin Dohrmann. The Bulldog offense got going down the stretch after some cold shooting in the first half, hitting 14-of-27 shots in the final 20 minutes.

ISU now prepares for this weekend's Cyclone Classic. It hosts Texas Southern Friday night at 8 p.m., and then will play either Utah Valley or Long Island in Saturday's finale.

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