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The No. 18/22-ranked West Virginia University women’s basketball team fell to Iowa State 85-68, at the Hilton Coliseum, in Ames, Iowa.

WVU (17-4,11-4 Big 12) was led by senior guard Kysre Gondrezick (19 points), sophomore guard Kirsten Deans (14 points) and sophomore guard Jayla Heming way (12 points), while sophomore forward Esmery Martinez tallied 10 rebounds. Junior guard Jasmine Carson made her first WVU start tonight.

After corralling the opening tip, WVU got on the board first on a score in the paint by junior forward Kari Niblack, but Iowa State followed up shortly after with a 3-pointer. Deans then sank a triple of her own to retake the lead. The two teams traded buckets over the next minute. After Niblack netted one at the line, Deans sank another triple to put the Mountaineers on top by four. WVU continued to hold its lead at the first media break.

Coming out of the break, Carson sank a trey to extend West Virginia’s lead to 7. Iowa State then stormed back and scored 10 unanswered points to take a three-point lead with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter. Deans once again converted from deep to tie the game, but the Cyclones continued to attack on the offensive end of the floor. WVU trailed by two heading into the second quarter.

After Iowa State sank a pair of free throws, West Virginia netted a pair of scores from Carson and Hemingway that tied the game at the beginning of the second quarter. The game remained tied until 5:31 mark of the period when the Cyclone ripped off an 8-0 run to jump out to a six-point lead and force the Mountaineers to call a timeout.

Niblack scored in the paint to stop the Cyclones’ scoring run after the break, but ISU converted another 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. Iowa State then followed up with a triple from junior guard Ashley Joens, as West Virginia trailed by nine with just under three minutes remaining in the half. Gondrezick converted a pair at the charity stripe and Hemingway netted a triple to lessen the damage, but WVU trailed, 46-38, at halftime.

West Virginia chipped Iowa State’s lead down to five points to begin the third on a fast-break score from Martinez and an and-1 opportunity from Niblack. The Cyclones then converted a 3, but WVU kept the game in reach with another score from Martinez.

Iowa State then went on a 13-2 run to take a 19-point lead with 32 seconds remaining in the period. Hemingway converted a 3-pointer at the buzzer for WVU, as the Mountaineers trailed by 16 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Cyclones went 6-0 run at the beginning of the frame, but Deans hit a layup on the fast break at the 8:39 mark. Hemingway netted a three off the Iowa State turnover, but Iowa State came back with a layup.

With the clock winding down, WVU went on a 9-5 run over a two-minute time frame. West Virginia shot a trio of free throws and a layup from Martinez but fell 72-71 to Iowa State.

West Virginia finished the game shooting 44% (24-of-54) from the field while going 12-of-15 (80%) from the free-throw line. Final numbers showed OU at 45% (29-of-65) from the floor and 100% (14-of-14) from the free-throw line. The Cyclones held a slight advantage in rebounds (36-33) but WVU edged Iowa State in steals (8-5) and fast-break points (10-8).

Next up, West Virginia travels to Lawrence, Kansas, on Saturday, Feb. 27, for a showdown against Kansas. Tip-off from Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. Saturday’s game will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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