Iowa State Cyclones Score Thrilling Upset Win Over Baylor, Earn First Victory Against a Ranked Team This Season

AMES, Iowa – Bill Fennelly, the head coach of the Iowa State women’s basketball team, had two goals in mind before their game against No. 7 Baylor on Saturday. Fennelly knew that the recent snowstorm might have resulted in a less crowded Hilton Coliseum, so he wanted his players to perform well enough for the fans who did show up to feel it was worth their trip. He also wanted those who stayed home to regret their decision. “I think we did both,” said Fennelly.

In a thrilling match, Iowa State secured their biggest win of the season by defeating Baylor with a score of 66-63. The Cyclones, who are on an eight-game winning streak, improved their record to 12-4 and remained undefeated in Big 12 Conference play (5-0). This victory marked their first win against a ranked team this season.

Audi Crooks led the way for Iowa State with a game-high 23 points and six rebounds, while Hannah Belanger contributed 15 points. Their clutch performances helped the young Cyclones continue their impressive start in the Big 12.

With 24.1 seconds left in regulation, Crooks made a layup to give Iowa State a 64-63 lead. Belanger then sealed the deal by sinking a pair of free throws. Baylor’s Sarah Andrews missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer as time expired, securing the win for the Cyclones.

Iowa State’s resilience was on display throughout the game. They fought back from a 19-point deficit in their previous victory against West Virginia, and they had to come from behind once again against Baylor. The Cyclones showed great determination by opening the third quarter with a 10-2 run, ultimately tying the game on a 3-pointer by Belanger.

The win against Baylor showcased the potential of this Iowa State team. Initially expected to have a rebuilding season with their young roster, the Cyclones have proven that they may be ahead of schedule. Their recent victories over West Virginia and Baylor have elevated expectations for the program.

Former Iowa State player Denae Fritz made her return to Hilton Coliseum as a member of the Baylor team after transferring in the offseason. Despite her limited playing time, Fritz received warm greetings from her former coaches.

Looking ahead, Iowa State’s schedule is expected to be less challenging in the coming weeks. They will face Texas Tech on Wednesday and host TCU on Saturday. With their strong performance, the Cyclones may soon find themselves ranked nationally.

In summary, Iowa State women’s basketball achieved a significant victory by defeating Baylor. The young Cyclones continue to exceed expectations and impress with their resilience and talent. Their performance against Baylor showcased their potential for success in the Big 12 Conference.