AMES (ISU) — Senior Chelsea Poppens had a 23-point, 15-rebound double-double on Sunday at Hilton Coliseum in Iowa State’s (1-0, 0-0 Big 12) season-opening win, an 84-65 victory over Western Illinois (0-1, 0-0 Summit League). Along with registering her 23rd career double-double, Poppens’ basket at the 18:37 mark of the first half made her the 23rd player in school history to eclipse the 1,000 career point mark.
Iowa State also got 11-assists, along with 6 points and 4 rebounds, from freshman guard Emiah Bingley, who was making her first career start. Bingley’s 11 assists were the most ever by a Cyclone in a career debut.
The Cyclones overcame a slow start, including a 16-5 Leatherneck run late in the first half that helped put WIU up 40-38 at the break. A cold shooting performance in the first half was a major factor in the Cyclone’s early struggles, at they started 0-of-10 from the three point line. The Cyclones went 11-for-19 the rest of the game from behind the arc.
Poppens kept Iowa State within striking distance in the early going, shooting 6-of-8 from the field with 17 points and seven rebounds in the half. In all, the Cyclones shot 43 percent from the field in the first half, compared to 54 percent for the Leathernecks.
Coming out half time, it took the Cyclones just over a minute to re-take the lead on an Anna Prins jumper; a lead they would hold for the rest of the game. Improved shooting was key for the Cyclones, as they went 8-of-15 from three in the second half, including three treys a piece for freshman Kidd Blaskowsky and junior Hallie Christofferson.
Christofferson also scored 13 of her 15 points points in the second half, as she and senior post player Anna Prins, who scored 14 points and grabbed 8 boards, were the three Cyclone to reach double figures.
Iowa State owned the glass against a smaller Western Illinois team, out-rebounding the Leathernecks 46-25, led by Poppens’ game 15 boards. WIU had four players reach double figures, led by Saule Kontautaite with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Charnelle Reed, Rebecca Henricson and Michelle Maher followed with 10 points each.
The Cyclones will be back on the court Sunday in Hilton Coliseum to take on North Dakota at 1 p.m.