AMES – No. 22 Iowa State women’s basketball (13-3, 3-1 Big 12) had a chance against No. 11 Texas (14-2, 4-0 Big 12) with time expiring on Saturday at Hilton Coliesum.
Iowa State senior Bridget Carleton got the ball at the top of the key with eight seconds left. She drove to her left and pulled up for a 12-foot jump shot.
The shot rimmed out.
Iowa State lost 64-62.
“We wanted to get the ball to Bridget in the middle, which we ended up getting it where we wanted to get it,” Coach Bill Fennelly said. “If you tell me she’s going to get that shot every game in a close game, I’m going to take it.
“They closed down the lane, so I don’t know that she had a driving lane. It’s a 12-foot shot that’s open. And it didn’t go in. That’s the way this game is.”
Carleton struggled in the first half shooting just 1-10 from the field.
But after halftime, she started rolling. She made three-straight left-handed layups off the bounce. She also drilled a 3-pointer and made another shot.
She went 5-8 in the second half from the field.
She finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“It’s my fourth year here and I’ve had my fair share of not-efficient shooting nights,” Carleton said. “If I’m missing shots, they’re bound to fall in the second half. I’m going to take the shots that are open and take the shots I know I can hit.”
As a team, Iowa State struggled in the third quarter. The Longhorns outscored the Cyclones 23-16 in the quarter and at one point led by 13.
Texas was making everything, and Iowa State couldn’t buy a shot.
But the Cyclones battled back and got themselves back in the game.
“We played really hard,” Carleton said. “We only gave up six offensive rebounds to a team that rebounds really well. We battled on the boards, we did our job to come back and give ourselves a chance. You can’t take that away from us.”
Texas is a team that rebounds 47 percent of its missed shots. On Saturday, Iowa State only allowed them to get six offensive rebounds. Four different Iowa State players have five or more rebounds, including Kristin Scott, who had nine rebounds.
She also had 15 points on 6-9 shooting. She was the only Iowa State player to shoot over 50 percent who played more than three minutes.
The Cylcones only shot 34 percent from the field as a team.
“I think you always have to give their team credit,” Fennelly said. “Their defense was very, very good, especially around the rim. The 3s that we got, I thought, were pretty open and we have to knock those down. They get up into you, they’re long and athletic.”
Even though the Cyclones lost, Carleton is taking away at least one positive.
“We’re right there,” Carleton said. “We lost to the No. 11 team in the country by two points. Texas is a great team and it shows how good we can be. If we play 40 minutes of basketball, we can beat anybody we’re playing. This is just going to motivate us even more because we are so close.”