Cyclones Win Final Big 12 Tuneup

AMES, Iowa - Anne O'Neil's 15 points led three Cyclones that scored in double-digits, giving Iowa State a 72-55 win over Eastern Illinois in its final nonconference game of the regular season. Lisa Kriener and Erica Junod tallied 13 and 12 points, respectively, for ISU. The Cyclones' record improved to 7-4, while EIU dropped to 3-8 overall.

Head coach Bill Fennelly used his seventh different starting combo of the season, which included posts Kriener and Brittany Wilkins. Wilkins had four points in the first 1:38, but collected her second foul moments later to sit her on the bench for the remainder of the half.

Despite a scoring draught that lasted more than five minutes midway through the first half, Iowa State held off the Panthers, who shot just 23.3 percent in the first stanza. Three consecutive 3-pointers within a 70-second span gave the Cyclones a 39-23 lead with 2:15 left and fueled a 15-7 scoring run that gave ISU a 45-27 advantage at the break.

After shooting 51.5 percent in the first half, ISU cooled off and shot just 33.3 percent in the second half. The Cyclones got an early layup from Wilkins to go up by 20 points (47-27), but Eastern Illinois took advantage of ISU turnovers and missed shots to pull within 11 points (53-42) with 11:47 left in the game.

The Panthers would get no closer and ISU's offense took over behind O'Neil and Lyndsey Medders, who combined for Iowa State's next 10 points.

Eastern Illinois, which came into the game shooting 47.9 percent from the field, hit just 30.4 percent of its shots in Hilton Coliseum. Pam O'Connor led the Panthers with 12 points, including 8-of-11 free throws.

Iowa State outrebounded Eastern Illinois 45-38. The Cyclones shot 26.1 percent from behind the arc, making six 3-pointers in the game, while EIU sank 8-of-27 treys.

The Cyclones open Big 12 Conference play at Nebraska Jan. 10.

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