Iowa State started off cold, sinking just one of its first six shots. Eastern Illinois (6-4) kept it close, knotting the score at 12-12 with 13:13 on the clock. The Cyclones went on a 12-2 run to open up a lead over the next four minutes and used a pair of Medders 3-pointers to hold off an EIU comeback before owning their biggest lead of the first half (34-18) with 2:35 left.
The Cyclones, leading 36-25 at the half, hit 38.5 percent from the floor in the first stanza, but shot a chilly 20 percent from behind the arc. Medders had 12 points and eight rebounds at the break, already a career best on the boards.
ISU started the second half on another cold streak, making just one of its first seven shots, but Eastern Illinois couldn't capitalize and the Cyclones never looked back. Iowa State took over on the boards, outrebounding the Panthers 27-12 in the second half. The Cyclones heated up their offense as well, shooting 46.9 percent in the second stanza.
Medders led all scorers with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Cyclone senior Anne O'Neil had 15 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore Megan Ronhovde added 14 points. Senior Katie Robinette rounded out ISU's double-digit scoring with 10 points in 17 minutes.
"I thought Anne and Lyndsey were definitely the keys of the game," Fennelly said. "They shot it great and had only one turnover between them. That was as good as I've seen our guards play together in a long time."
Murray State (4-5) defeated Mercer 73-61 to advance to the championship matchup against Iowa State Thursday night at 8 p.m. It is the Cyclones' final nonconference game of the year and the second consecutive Ohio Valley Conference opponent.