AMES, Iowa- Iowa State’s (15-10, 7-7 Big 12) fourth-quarter rally fell short in a 77-74 loss to Texas Tech (16-8, 5-8 Big 12) Sunday afternoon in Hilton Coliseum.
The Cyclones were down by 10 points in the final period, but made a comeback to tie the game on multiple occasions. ISU’s last flurry was rallying from a six-point deficit with :40 seconds left, knotting the game at 74-74 with :11 seconds left.
The Red Raiders were able to get the win when Chrislyn Carr was fouled on a 3-pointer with :01.2 seconds left, making all three free-throw attempts.
TTU’s Brittany Brewer led all players with 27 points.
Rae Johnson played a huge role in ISU’s fight to the end, scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter on three 3-pointers. She finished the game with 17 points and four treys.
Ashley Joens notched her 14th double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
How It Happened
Texas Tech had the lead at the end of the first quarter at 17-15. The Cyclones were cold in the first stanza, making just 4-of-16 shots. Joens hit a step-back 3-pointer in the final seconds to give ISU some momentum heading into the second period.
The Red Raiders increased their lead to 29-18 after Lexi Gordon hit back-to-back 3-pointers with just under seven minutes in the second period.
Iowa State rallied to cut the deficit to just three points (36-33) at the half. The big reason was Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw, who hit a trio of 3-pointers in the final three and half minutes.
Joens gave the Cyclones a brief lead in the third quarter on a jumper, but the Red Raiders bounced back for a 9-2 run to move back ahead 46-41 at the midway point of the third period. Brewer scored three baskets in the run on putbacks.
The TTU lead was 55-46 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Red Raiders led 59-49 before a Cyclone rally. Johnson began the comeback with a triple and hit a pair of 3-pointers in a 14-4 run to tie the game at 63-63 with 4:33 remaining. An Espenmiller-McGraw trey from the corner was the shot that got the Cyclones even.
TTU moved back ahead by five points, but Johnson hit another triple in a 5-0 run to knot the game at 68-68 with 1:42 remaining. However, Andrayah Adams, who missed her first nine attempts, buried back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Red Raiders a 74-68 lead with under 40 seconds left.
Iowa State implemented some pressure and flustered the Red Raiders into some turnovers, getting three steals in the final :30 seconds, as the Cyclones tied the game at 74-74 on 6-of-8 shooting from the free-throw line. Joens sank a pair to knot the game with :11 seconds left.
On the Red Raiders next possession, Carr hoisted a 3-pointer and missed, but was fouled by Johnson with :01.2 seconds left. She buried all three free-throw attempts to sneak out the victory.
Players of Note
Rae Johnson scored 12 of her 17 points in the fourth quarter to help the Cyclones storm back from a 10-point deficit in the final period. Johnson hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to give the Cyclones a chance for a comeback. She finished the game 4-of-8 from the field and 4-of-5 from 3-point range. She’s made two or more 3-pointers in four-straight games.
Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw tallied 14 points on 4-of-4 shooting from 3-point range. Her marksmanship was critical in the second period when she hit three 3-pointers in a three-minute span to cut a 11-point Red Raider lead to just three points by the half.
Iowa State travels to Kansas State on Wednesday (Feb. 26). The game will tipoff at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN+/Big 12 Now.