The Iowa State women are headed to the "Sweet Sixteen" for the first time since 2001. The Cyclones broke away from a three point halftime lead to down Ball State 71-57 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
ISU coach Bill Fennelly says these are moments that he went into coaching for, as it says "it’s just so special." The Cyclones led 28-25 at the half but turned it up offensively by scoring 43 points in half number two. Fennelly says every level is hard and ever game you advance to is harder, and he says they played great in the second half.
Nicki Wieben led the Cyclones with 18 points. Kelsey Bolte added 16, including 5-of-7 from three point range. She says she was surprised, but her teammates really found her and she got some open looks.
Bolte says advancing in the tournament feels great. Amanda Nisleit added 14 points and also did the job on the boards by hauling down ten rebounds. Nisleit says her three pointers weren’t falling, so she looked for other ways to help the team.
Nisleit says it was a hard fought win, as she says Ball State is a great team that stuck in the game to the end, fighting back whenever ISU built a lead. The Cyclones are 26-8 and will now head to Berkley, California, for a regional semifinal round matchup against Michigan State on Saturday night. The Spartans ousted top seeded Duke.