AMES, Iowa – Iowa State claimed the Preseason WNIT Championship with a 75-52 win over No. 24 Miami (FL) Sunday afternoon at Hilton Coliseum. The win improves ISU to 4-0 on the season, while UM falls to 4-1.
The Cyclones were led by Preseason WNIT Tournament MVP Bridget Carleton, who finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Joining her on the All-Tournament Team was Madison Wise, who finished with nine points and six rebounds. The ISU post players came off the bench to impress with Ines Nezerwa recording a career-high 15 points and six rebounds, while Kristin Scott added 11 points and eight boards.
Road to a Championship
Iowa State’s victory on Sunday wrapped up a busy stretch of four games across 10 days, with the Cyclones going 4-0 on that run. That effort started last Friday with a 95-35 victory over Niagara and was followed up by a 70-60 victory over Northern Illinois last Sunday. Tuesday’s win over Auburn was a dramatic affair, as the Cyclones were down as many as 15 in the first half before moving ahead by 10 in the later stages. Auburn tied the game in the last minute, but Carleton’s lay-up with nine seconds left pushed ISU to its 67-64 win.
Leading the Cyclones across the tournament was Bridget Carleton, who averaged 16.3 points, 12 rebounds and six assists during the four games. Ashley Joens averaged 12 points per game during the weekend, while Madison Wise chipped in 10.5 ppg.
How It Happened
The Cyclones dug out of an early hole by firing off a 12-0 run to cap off the first quarter, highlighted by seven Bridget Carleton points to get ahead 24-16. The Canes were able to cut the ISU advantage down to three on multiple occasions, but ISU went on a big run late again, going on a 7-0 run capped by a Kristin Scott put back at the buzzer to give the home side a 37-27 halftime edge.
Iowa State continued to open up its advantage in the second half. Despite not hitting a 3-pointer in the third quarter, the Cyclones went 7-of-9 on two-point shots to up their advantage to 15 points at 54-39 through 30 minutes. Iowa State continued to dominate, as the Cyclones upped their lead to as many as 26 points in the fourth quarter.
Players of Note
It was not just the offense that did the talking for Bridget Carleton today. While she scored seven points in the 12-0 first quarter run, she also grabbed rebounds, dished out assists, posted steals and drew charges. She finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Ines Nezerwa impressed off the bench, contributing a career-high 15 points and six rebounds.
Kristin Scott also came off the bench to put up a good day’s work for the Cyclones, recording 11 points and eight rebounds.
Iowa State heads on the road for the first time this season, when they make the trip to Bridget Carleton’shometown of Chatham, Ontario, Canada for a game against Eastern Michigan. Tip between the Cyclones and Eagles will be at 5 p.m. Central.