Iowa State’s Hilton Coliseum is becoming quite accommodating for the Missouri women’s basketball team.
For the second straight year, the Tigers cruised to an important Big 12 Conference win on the road against the Cyclones, beating Iowa State 81-62 on Saturday in Ames.
The win comes one year after Missouri snapped a nine-game losing streak to Iowa State by handing the Cyclones their worst home loss in more than 10 years in an 86-55 game Jan. 19, 2003.
Iowa State (10-10, 3-6 Big 12) fell to 7-4 at Hilton Coliseum with its third straight home loss after winning back-to-back home games against ranked teams in January.
“This was a big one because this is a tough place to play,” Missouri coach Cindy Stein said. “We know they upset Texas Tech here and we knew we were going to have to come out and they were going to throw everything at us.”
Missouri (12-8, 3-6) broke down Iowa State’s zone defense with an effective mix of pinpoint outside shooting and efficient inside play. Missouri’s post players shot 12-for-18 and the Tigers made nine 3-pointers, tying a season high.
“One of our goals was to have a good inside and outside attack,” Stein said. “Against a zone you can’t just be spotting up and cranking the 3s and we’ve got to be able to get a good inside game and we tried to establish that pretty early.”
Missouri used a 12-2 run late in the first half to open a 35-22 lead. The Tigers shot 55.4 percent for the game and held the Cyclones to 33.3 percent shooting.
Evan Unrau led Missouri’s balanced attack with 19 points.
MyEsha Perkins finished with 18 points and seven assists, both career highs. Stretch James scored 18.
The win was the Tigers’ third in five games and moved Missouri into eighth place in the Big 12.
Three of Missouri’s seven remaining games are against ranked opponents, and Stein said she hopes her team can use the Iowa State win as a catalyst into the postseason.
“The good teams go on runs in February,” Stein said. “If we can go on a strong run here we’ve got a chance at the end to still reach our goals of getting to the NCAA Tournament.”