WVU Women’s Basketball held a 55-36 lead with five minutes to play in the third quarter against Iowa State on Wednesday, January 10. But they would blow that lead and the game.
Cyclones head coach Bill Fennelly won his 600th game with the program at BYU on Saturday, and for a long time the No. 24 Mountaineers seemed poised to spoil the resulting celebration, holding the Cyclones to 12 points in the second period as they established a commanding 44-31 halftime lead.
Instead, West Virginia fell apart in the second half, outscored 38-9 over the final 16 minutes as the Cyclones stormed back to claim a 74-64 win.
Cyclones guard Emily Ryan traveled to turn the ball over midway through the third period, prompting Fennelly to call a timeout. Mountaineers’ forward Kylee Blacksten scored a layup out of the break to tie a season high with 16 points, stretching the Mountaineers’ lead to 19.
Mountaineers Come Unraveled
From there, they didn’t score a point for nearly seven minutes, letting the Cyclones work a 13-0 run to get back in the game. West Virginia’s three-point woes returned, as they made just three of 19 shots from beyond the arc in the second half, unable to regain their footing with a splash play.
Forward Danelle Arigbabu stopped the bleeding with a layup 55 seconds into the fourth quarter, before Hannah Belanger of the Cyclones and JJ Quinerly of the Mountaineers traded three-point buckets.
Kyah Watson jumped in front of a pass and made a layup to push the lead back to eight, and for a moment West Virginia looked like they’d found their identity once again. Instead, Iowa State went on another double-digit run, taking a 64-62 lead over the next 4:59 before Jordan Harrison tied the game with a layup.
West Virginia couldn’t score again and the Cyclones closed out the game the same way they got back in it, coasting to victory with a ten point run.
WVU Women’s Basketball moves to 13-2 on the season (2-2 Big 12). They’ll travel to Orlando on Saturday, January 13 to take on UCF at 12 p.m.
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