Three Thoughts on Iowa State’s 82-72 Big 12 Tournament Semifinal Win over Oklahoma
No. 2 seed Oklahoma and No. 3 seed Iowa State duked it out Saturday afternoon for a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game. In that duel, the Cyclones got the better of the Sooners and advanced to take on top-seeded Texas with an 82-72 triumph. Now here are three thoughts on what transpired.
Where the rubber meets the road
The Sooners took round one. The Cyclones took round two. So, round three was set up for a rubber match. And round three was the Cyclones’ to have. These two tussled to three- and eight-point decisions the first couple of times around, so it figured to be another competitive battle between two of the league’s best teams. That it was, for sure during the opening 20 minutes—more on that in a second. Ultimately, the decisive best-of-three contest went Iowa State’s way.
Cyclones take over after the half
Oklahoma led early on, racing out to an 11-3 lead in the opening minutes. Iowa State would then gain its footing, rattling off a 13-2 run to take the lead later in the first quarter. It would lead 42-39 at the halfway point. Then the Cyclones really took off. They scored the first five points following intermission, and by the time the third quarter was history, they were up by a 66-53 count. The Sooners tried to crawl back from as much as a 15-point deficit, but it proved to be too much in the end.
The three of guards Ashley Joens and Lexi Donarski and forward Nyamer Diew are hard to handle for any team, and they certainly were hard to handle for Oklahoma in this one. Although Jones didn’t shoot the ball particularly well—she hit only seven of her 21 attempts and just a pair of her 10 from long range—she finished with a game-high 22 points. Donarksi and Diew did shoot well, connecting on a combined 13-of-21 attempts for 20 and 19, respectively. And that production was truly too much for Oklahoma to overcome.