AMES, Iowa – Junior Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine) poured in 16 points and the Wildcats pulled within four points late in the first half, but it was not enough, as the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team fell to Big-12 opponent Iowa State, 71-57, in day one of the Cyclone Challenge Thursday evening at the Hilton Coliseum.
UNH drops to 6-5 overall, snapping a three-game winning streak, while Iowa State improves to 8-2 on the season.
Frame finished with eight rebounds and shot 5-of-13 from the field, while senior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) posted 12 points and four steals. Senior Kelley Flynn (Hopkinton, N.H.) recorded 10 points and six boards off the bench, shooting 5-of-8 from the floor.
Iowa State raced out to a quick 7-0 advantage, before junior Cari Reed (Oswego, N.Y.) knocked down a pair of shots from beyond the arc to pull UNH within four, 10-6, with 16:24 left in the opening half.
The Cyclones then used a 13-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 21-8 lead, but UNH answered with a 6-0 run to trim the Cyclone lead to 23-14 with 9:24 remaining.
After three free throws stretched the Cyclone lead to 12, UNH reeled off an 11-3 run to pull within four at 29-25 with 4:06 left in the first half. Kelley Flynn was instrumental during the stretch as she came off the bench for three baskets down low, while Beliveau provided a deep threat with a 3-pointer at the top of the arc.
Iowa State ended the opening half on an 8-2 run, sparked by consecutive 3-pointers, as the home side held a 37-27 advantage at halftime. Reed and Flynn posted eight points apiece to pace the Wildcats at intermission.
New Hampshire kicked off the second stanza with an offensive presence underneath the basket as a pair of post buckets from Beliveau and Frame trimmed the Cyclone lead to 41-34 with 17:35 remaining. Iowa State then turned to an outside game as back-to-back treys pushed the home lead to 47-34 at the first media timeout.
Once again, New Hampshire refused to let the Cyclones run away with a comfortable lead as a 6-2 run pulled the Wildcats within nine, 49-40, at the 13:14 mark. Iowa State halted the UNH stretch with a 3-pointer, which kicked off a 7-0 run to push the home team in front at 56-40 midway through the stanza.
UNH cut the Cyclone lead to 14 on several occasions down the stretch, but could not get closer, as the home side held on for the duration of the contest to seal the victory.
The Wildcats wrap up play at the Cyclone Challenge on Friday, Dec. 30, when they take on NJIT at 5:00 p.m. (CST).