WBB: Iowa State Knocks Off Texas Tech

By Rob Gray, Reporter

Iowa State's Nikki Moody (4) drives to the basket past Baylor's Brittney Griner (42) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

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By Grant Burkhardt

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly made Nikki Moody his quarterback.

The Cyclone point guard’s second-half scheme for Saturday’s Big 12 game against Texas Tech?

Smashmouth basketball.

“I said, ‘It’s like a football game and we’re just gonna run it down their throat,’” said Fennelly, whose No. 23 team ruled the paint and coasted to a 67-52 Big 12 win before 11,932 fans at Hilton Coliseum. “That’s all I told her, ‘Just hand it off, three yards, four yards — just run it down their throat.”

ISU post players Chelsea Poppens and Anna Prins combined to go 7 of 9 in the paint in the second half as the Cyclones (15-5, 6-4) completed a regular season sweep of the Red Raiders (16-6, 6-4).

Poppens scored a team-best 18 points. Prins added 12.

They played a combined 10 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.

“Anna and I both got pretty anxious,” said Poppens, who added nine rebounds and a career high-tying four assists.

Why?

The Cyclones made just 3 of their first 15 shots and trailed 20-12 with 6:50 left in the first half.

Enter Hallie Christofferson, who scored six of ISU’s next nine points and helped cut the deficit to 29-25 at halftime.

“It was kind of a miracle we were only down four,” said Christofferson, who notched her eighth career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Christofferson also tied a career high with four blocked shots.

“When you really need a play, she seems to be the kid you can count on,” Fennelly said.

ISU relied heavily on Poppens and Prins after halftime.

Moody immediately fed Poppens, who responded with a baby hook and swish to make the score 29-27.

That familiar maneuver sparked a 13-2 run that jolted Tech, which drained just 21.4 percent of its second-half shots and trailed by double digits the final 11:24.

“We were as cold in here as it it outside,” Red Raiders coach Kristy Curry said.

The Cyclones shot 64.2 percent (18 of 28) after their frosty 3 of 15 start and outmuscled Tech 18-4 in the paint after the break.

“ We really came out ready to go and fired up,” Christofferson said. “At halftime, everybody knew what they needed to do.”

MOODY NICKED UP: ISU point guard Nikki Moody dinged up an already ailing right wrist during the second half. Fennelly said she hurt it in practice recently. “She should be fine with a day off,” he added. Moody had six assists and a Big 12 season-low two turnovers.

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