No. 22 Iowa St. 79, Oklahoma St. 59
Iowa State's Kelsey Bolte is getting more help and it's showing in two important areas.
The Cyclones are scoring more and they're winning.
Bolte bounced back from her worst shooting game of the season with 20 points and No. 22 Iowa State rolled to its third straight victory Wednesday night, 79-59 over Oklahoma State. Hallie Christofferson added 15 points for Iowa State (16-5, 4-3 Big 12) and Anna Prins scored 14, all but two in the second half.
After struggling offensively in their first four conference games, the Cyclones have topped 70 points in their last three, the first time they've put a string like that together in league play since 2005. Iowa State also has had three players score in double figures in each of the last three games.
''We're finding other people to step into their roles and make some baskets,'' Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. ''You always want some kind of balance and that certainly has not been the case for us much of the year. It's a lot harder to defend us when we have other people contributing.''
Bolte, who's averaging 21.7 points in Big 12 games, had to carry the Cyclones early in the conference season. In an overtime loss at Colorado, she scored 26 points and no one else had more than nine.
But Christofferson, Prins and Lauren Mansfield all have increased their production over the past couple of weeks, giving the Cyclones more options.
''Everyone's contributing to the points a little bit,'' Bolte said. ''We just need to keep playing hard, keep having the confidence when we're shooting the ball.''
Oklahoma State (13-7, 1-6) got a career-high 24 points from 6-foot-6 freshman Vicky McIntyre. McIntyre made 10 of 17 shots with a variety of post moves, but her teammates shot just 11-for-45.
Bolte made only 5 of 20 shots and was 0-for-7 from 3-point range a 71-56 victory over Missouri last Saturday. But she made all four of her 3-point shots in this one and finished 6-for-9 overall. She also grabbed nine rebounds.
''She's a great player who absolutely understands her role as a go-to player,'' Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke said. ''I told her after the game she's had a great career and I hope I don't play her again. I love the kid, absolutely love the kid.''
Iowa State led 40-30 after a first half constantly interrupted by whistles. The officials called 27 fouls in the half, 16 on Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls were called for 15 more fouls in the second half and Iowa State ended up making more free throws (24) than field goals (22).
''You can't foul a team that shoots as well as they do,'' Budke said. ''We need to adjust to how the game is officiated. We didn't.''
The 6-7 Prins, who had been counted on to counter McIntyre, picked up two quick fouls and played only four minutes in the opening half. She returned for the start of the second half and helped the Cyclones take control.
Iowa State made six of its first nine 3-point shots in the half in building a 65-41 lead. Prins scored 10 points in the surge, including a 3-pointer. Bolte and Christofferson each knocked down a pair of 3s and reserve Kelsey Harris added one.
''It was a little frustrating in the first half,'' Prins said. ''I just came out ready to play (in the second half), I guess, just doing what I needed to do to help the team.''
Christofferson cut across the lane and took a pass from Amanda Zimmerman for layup that gave Iowa State its biggest lead, 69-43 with 9:40 left. That enabled Fennelly to rest his starters down the stretch.
Tiffany Bias 13 points for Oklahoma State, which starts two freshmen and two sophomores. The Cowgirls stood 12-1 on Jan. 4, but they've won only once since then.