AMES, Iowa — AMES, Iowa — For the second-straight road game, Kansas women's basketball took the contest down to the wire with the help of junior forward Chelsea Gardner's Big 12-leading 11th double-double of the season. Iowa State erased an 11-point deficit to defeat KU in the final seconds, 72-69, Saturday night inside Hilton Coliseum.
Gardner, who has 16 double-doubles in her career, recorded 19 points, including a three-point play with less than a minute left to give Kansas (12-14, 5-9 Big 12) the lead, and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds against Iowa State (17-7, 6-7 Big 12) in the loss.
After the three-point play from Gardner late in the game, ISU's Hallie Christofferson sank two free throws giving the Cyclones a three-point advantage with 14.7 second left. The Jayhawks charged down the court looking to the tie the game with a trey to send it to overtime, but the three point attempt came up short as time expired.
Junior guard Asia Boyd added 16 points and six rebounds off the bench for her sixth double-figure game in her last seven. Senior guard CeCe Harper scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists to move into the top-10 for a single season at Kansas. Rounding out the double-figure scorers for the Jayhawks was freshman guard Dakota Gonzalez, who recorded 11 points and grabbed three rebounds.
Iowa State was led by Christofferson, who finished with a game-high 29 points, just four shy of her career-high. The Hamlin, Iowa, native also grabbed eight rebounds for the Cyclones in the win. Also reaching double figures for ISU was junior guard Nikki Moody who scored 18, to go along with six assists and five rebounds, and freshman guard Seanna Johnson who scored 14 and grabbed eight rebounds.
After Christofferson opened the game with a three pointer, Harper responded with one of her own to tie the game at three. Christofferson continued to show why she was named to the All-Big 12 First Team a year ago, scoring seven of the first nine Cyclone points, but the Jayhawks kept pace keeping the game tied, 11-11, heading into the first media timeout.
Kansas held Iowa State scoreless for the next two minutes after the timeout, but Christofferson delivered her 10th point of the game with her second three of the game to give ISU the lead, 14-13, with 12:25 left in the first half. With the Cyclone's star taking a breather on the bench, the Jayhawks took advantage, going on a 7-0 run to take a 20-16 lead with 8:45 left in the first half.
Boyd kept the Kansas offense on track out of the under-eight timeout, scoring five-straight points to help the Jayhawks maintain their lead. With the Kansas lead at three, Gonzalez delivered 5-0 run of her own and sparked eight-straight Kansas points to extend the lead to 11 with 2:22 left in the first half. The Cyclones ended the Kansas run with three points the old-fashioned way to cut the lead to eight, but another Kansas three kept the lead at 11.
Facing their largest deficit of the first half, Christofferson delivered four-straight points for the Cyclones, including a last second layup to cut the Kansas lead to seven at the half, 40-33. Gardner and Harper led the Jayhawks with 10 points each in the first half and Christofferson led all scorers with 18.
The Cyclones kept their momentum rolling into the second half, stealing a pass and converting on the other to get within five. The ISU run continued and the KU lead was cut to as little as two, 40-38, before Gardner converted the first KU points of the second half with 16:47 remaining. With Kansas on the board, back-and-forth play ensued as the Jayhawks clung to their advantage. Iowa State fought back to tie the game several times with Gardner on the bench in foul trouble, but weren't able to take the lead before Gardner returned with 8:01 left in the game.
Less than 30 seconds after returning to the game, Gardner picked up her fourth foul and had to return to the bench. Christofferson was finally able to give the lead back to the Cyclones, 56-54, with a pair of free throws with 7:32 remaining. Gonzalez delivered her third three of the game to bring Kansas back within one, but again, it was Christofferson who provided the Cyclone answer on the other end, to get the ISU lead back to three, 60-57, with 6:26 left in the first half.
Still trailing 62-59 with 4:44 remaining, junior guard Natalie Knight delivered her first basket of the game from downtown to tie the game at 62. A steal from Knight on the other end and an outlet pass ahead to Harper who converted a layup gave Kansas back the lead 66-64 with 2:17 left in the game. A Kansas turnover allowed the Cyclones to tie the game at 66 with just over a minute left and two free throws from Moody gave ISU a two-point advantage with 47.5 seconds to play.
In need of a huge basket, the Jayhawks went to their leading scorer Gardner, who delivered with a three-point play to give Kansas the lead, 69-68, with 35 seconds left. Moody regained the lead for Iowa State, 70-69, on the next possession, with a contested layup with 23.8 seconds to play. A Jayhawk turnover and two free throws from Christofferson extend the Iowa State lead to three, with 14.7 seconds remaining. A three-point attempt from Kansas to tie the game in the final seconds fell short and the Cyclones escaped with the win, 72-69.
The Jayhawks will continue their road trip in Norman, Okla. next Saturday, Feb. 22, and take on Oklahoma at 7 p.m. inside the Lloyd Noble Center.
KANSAS STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER): Fr. Jada Brown (12/12), Sr. CeCe Harper (21/42), Sr. Markisha Hawkins (9/15), Jr. Chelsea Gardner (25/53) and Jr. Natalie Knight (26/79)
• Makes Kansas' all-time record 769-547.
• Makes the Jayhawks' all-time conference record 236-245.
• Makes KU's all-time Big 12 record 113-177 and 56-106 in conference play under head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
• Makes the all-time series 45-31 in KU's favor and extends ISU's winning streak over the Jayhawks to three games.
• Makes Kansas 369-388 all-time when playing on the road and 46-91 under Henrickson.
• Makes Henrickson's record 170-149 at KU and 328-211 overall.
• Kansas swatted at least four shots for the fourth game in a row, and have blocked at least four shots in five of the last six contests and 17 times this season.
• Trailing by three, 16-13, with 11:39 left in the first half, the Jayhawks scored seven-straight points to take a 20-16 lead, with 8:14 left in the first half.
• With the Kansas lead at three, 29-26, Dakota Gonzalez scored five-straight points to spark an 8-0 run to give the Jayhawks an 11-point advantage with 2:22 left in the first half.
• Junior Asia Boyd Boyd recorded 16 points off the bench, marking the sixth time in the last seven games the Detroit, Mich., native, has recorded double-digit points off the bench. Boyd also dished out five assists to tie her career-high, which she set earlier this season against Tulsa (12/12/13)
• Freshman guard Dakota Gonzalez tied her career-high by knocking in three shots from beyond the arc, matching her total against Texas Southern (12/12/13) in a career-high 29 minutes, besting her previous total of 26 at Baylor (1/5/14).
• Junior Chelsea Gardner knocked in a team-high 19 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the 2013-14 season and 16th for her career and seventh in her last 11 games. Gardner's 19 points extends her streak of double-figure scoring to 11 games.
• Senior CeCe Harper dished out six assists to move her into 10th all-time for assists in a single season at Kansas, with 140.