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Notebook: Cowgirls solidly a top 3 finish in conference

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Comeback falls short

The comeback was not enough for the Cyclones on Saturday in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Iowa State lost 80-73 to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 women’s basketball game after coming back from a 20-point deficit. It was the second time the two teams have met this season with ISU winning the first meeting in Ames.

The Cyclones (14-9 overall, 10-6 conference) got behind early 42-22 in the second quarter.

They were able to cut the deficit to 42-35 at halftime with an unorthodox Amber Joens buzzer beater. The shot clinked off the front iron, hit the backboard, and went in.

“We played as good as we could play in building the 40-20 lead,” OSU coach Jim Littell said. “We told our players at halftime that they were gonna come back and punch, and we needed to punch first.”

In the second half, the Cyclones took their first lead at 60-59 but were unable to close it out. Leading scorer Ashley Joens finished with 23.

Big nights for Mack and Asberry

OSU (17-6, 13-4) got a big night from star Natasha Mack.

She finished with six blocks and 24 points, scoring 12 in each half. For Mack, the win was bitter-sweet. Even though they got the win, tears streamed down Mack’s face as she sang the alma mater for the final time in GIA.

“This was my last time playing in this gym with the people I love, so it just kind of hit hard,” Mack said. “To come out on top is amazing.”

Ja’Mee Asberry was able to match her number in points with 21. She made her last three threes.

One of the threes was huge, for she hit it with under two minutes to give the Cowgirls an eight-point lead. Asberry said she knew it was going in.

“I pulled up and had to hit it,” Asberry said.

sports.ed@ocolly.com