AMES, Iowa (AP) – A little extra work made all the difference for Hallie Christofferson.
That, in turn, made all the difference for her struggling team.
Christofferson hit a career-high five 3-pointers while scoring 19 points and Iowa State beat No. 17 Texas Tech 66-49 on Sunday to end the longest losing streak in coach Bill Fennelly’s 17 seasons.
“The other night after practice I was in my office late on Friday,” Fennelly said. “I was getting ready to leave and I kept hearing a ball and Hallie was still in the gym. You work at it and good things happen.”
It certainly did for Christofferson. The 6-foot-3 sophomore was 5 for 7 from 3-point range and 6 for 11 overall from the field. She grabbed 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season as the Cyclones broke a five-game losing streak.
“I guess after the first one, I got a lot more confident,” Christofferson said. “Then I found myself open more than usual, so I just looked for my shot more. Some of them I didn’t have my feet set, but I just let it fly.”
Lauren Mansfield added 12 points for Iowa State (10-7, 1-5 Big 12), while Chelsea Poppens had 10 points and 15 rebounds. Iowa State’s 0-5 start in the Big 12 had been the program’s worst under Fennelly, who never before had lost more than four straitght games.
“It’s hard to be 0-5 and hear the things you hear,” Fennelly said. “I don’t care what people say about me. I’m used to it. But the kids were having a tough time. They’re trying, they’re playing hard. I thought we played great today.”
Leading 26-23 at halftime, Iowa State missed its first seven shots in the second half, then ran off 12 straight points to start a 17-3 run that put the Cyclones in control.
Texas Tech (14-4, 2-4) missed 12 of its first 13 shots in the half and never recovered. The Lady Raiders have lost four straight after a 14-0 start, and this one had coach Kristy Curry complaining about a lack of effort.
“I think last week I took a little bit of the blame on a call here or there I could have called a little better,” Curry said. “But this falls back on the kids in the lack of effort and energy. That’s something I don’t have the answer for, but we’re sure going to go back and try to fix it tomorrow.
“But if today is not embarrassing as a player as far as how much you got outworked, then something’s wrong with you.”
Monique Smalls’ 13 points led Texas Tech, which shot just 28 percent (16 of 57). Kierra Mallard, the Lady Raiders’ leading scorer with a 14-point average, missed all nine of her shots and went scoreless.
“It was not just Kierra,” Curry said. “I thought that our posts got embarrassed with their energy and effort today.”
Poppens got Iowa State started in the second half with a putback. The Cyclones then made their next three shots and took off.
Mansfield hit a 3-pointer in transition from the left corner, Nikki Moody pulled up for a jumper and Mansfield, who had been 3 of 21 from the field in the previous three games, knocked down another 3. After Anna Prins made two free throws, the Cyclones led 41-26.
Tech’s Mary Bokenkamp interrupted the run with a 3-pointer, but Moody answered with two free throws and Christofferson buried a 3, making it 46-29. The Cyclones led by as many as 20 points before Fennelly cleared his bench.
“I think there was a lot of energy on the floor as well as on the bench,” Mansfield said. “It feels good to see your teammates hitting shots and you’re hitting shots. I wish we could have this every game.”
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