KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas State’s Jalana Childs scored a career-high 31 points to give the Wildcats a 67-63 win over Iowa State in a back-and-forth game in quarterfinal action at the Big 12 Women’s Championship Thursday in the Municipal Auditorium.
Iowa State (18-12 overall, 9-9 in Big 12 play) was down by as many as eight points in the second half before battling back to take a four-point lead. Childs, however, continued to make plays down the stretch, including a jumper to give KSU a 64-61 lead with 0:21 seconds left.
The Cyclones were led by Nikki Moody, who scored a career-high 21 points. Lauren Mansfield added 21 points, her third 20-point game of the season. The game featured seven ties and nine lead changes, as the Cyclones lost their first game in the Big Championship for only the third time in the 17-year Bill Fennelly era.
Iowa State made six-of-its-first-seven shots to jump out to an early 12-2 lead. However, KSU answered with a 13-2 run to go up 15-14 with 10:30 left in the first half. Mansfield then made back-to-back hoops for the Cyclones to push ISU back out in front, 18-15.
ISU leader Chelsea Poppens picked up her second foul with 9:14 left in the first half and had to sit the remainder of the first period, attempting one shot while playing just eight minutes. The Wildcats took advantage, forging a 33-29 halftime lead, as Childs had 12 first-half points. Mansfield scored 15 points and made 6-of-10 shots from the floor in the opening period to lead the Cyclones.
The Wildcats took their largest lead at eight points (37-29) after scoring the first four points of the second period. However, the Cyclones kept fighting back. An Anna Prins 3-pointer and a Mansfield bucket knotted the game at 46-46 with 11:30 remaining.
Childs had the answer again, scoring two-straight buckets for the Wildcats, but the Cyclones bounced back with a Mansfield drive and a Hallie Christofferson conventional 3-point play to move the Cyclones out in front, 51-50 with 7:45 left.
Moody made it an 8-0 Iowa State run with a drive and 3-point play to increase the Cyclone lead to 54-50, but the Wildcats followed with seven-straight points to go back up, 57-54 with under six minutes to play.
Moody knotted the game (59-59) with a steal and lay-in with 3:08 left, but Childs scored down low on KSU’s next possession to give KSU a 61-59 advantage with under two minutes left. Moments later Poppens and Childs traded buckets, as KSU held a 64-61 lead with 0:18 seconds left. Christofferson then buried a baseline jumper to cut the deficit to one point (64-63) with 0:16 seconds remaining.
Brittany Chambers connected on a pair of free-throws moments later setting up a Mansfield 3-pointer in the corner that went in-and-out at the closing seconds.
Iowa State outrebounded KSU, 36-34, grabbing 13 offensive boards. Christofferson had eight boards and nine points for the Cyclones.
Iowa State will wait to learn its postseason fate on Monday in the NCAA Women’s Championship Selection Show.