Work in Sports
Iowa State claims first Big 12 title
Posted: Sunday March 12, 2000 01:56 AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Although Desiree Francis' pregame meal didn't settle well, she felt a lot better after No. 10 Iowa State's 75-65 victory over Texas.
Francis vomited on the court at halftime, but showed little ill effects as she scored 19 points Saturday to lead the Cyclones to their first Big 12 tournament championship.
"Things like that happen," said Francis, who changed jerseys and returned to the court before the start of the second half. "I've got great teammates. They just kept telling me 'It's all good, Des. Just go out and keep shooting.'"
Angie Welle added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Megan Taylor had 16 points for the top-seeded Cyclones (25-5), who finished second last year.
The sixth-seeded Longhorns (21-12) couldn't shake early shooting woes that saw them hit just 26 percent of their first-half shots and trail 31-21 at the break.
They got to 40-31 on Edwina Brown's basket with 15:58 to go. But Iowa State scored the next 10 points, including four each by Taylor and Tracy Gahan.
"We were just trading baskets with them at the start of the half, and we realized they weren't going to go away," Taylor said. "We knew we had to start playing defense if we were going to stop them, and we had to rebound."
Gahan finished with nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists while committing only one turnover.
The 10-0 run was part of a 20-6 run that padded the Cyclones' lead to 60-37 on Welle's two free throws with 8:05 remaining.
Iowa State led by as many as 24, 74-50, before Texas closed with a 15-1 run in the last 2:13.
The Longhorns shot 47 percent from the field in the second half, but still finished at 36 percent (28-for-77).
"We don't have the greatest-shooting team we've ever fielded," coach Jody Condradt said. "But the shots they were giving us tonight were makeable. We should have hit them."
Francis hit three 3-pointers as Iowa State went 8-for-19 from long range, while Texas went 2-for-10.
"Desiree's really developed as a shooter," Conradt said. "It must be something in the water up there. Kids get up there, and all of a sudden they can shoot the 3-pointer."
Brown, whose selection as the tournament's MVP was booed by the pro-Iowa State crowd, led Texas with 23 points and 11 rebounds. She was just 9-of-25 from the field, and 10 of her points came in the last 3:13, when the game was out of reach.
Tracy Cook added 10 points for Texas, the first No. 6 seed to reach the finals in the tournament's four-year history.
Brown was joined on the first team by Iowa State's Francis, Welle and Amy Frese and by Nebraska's Nicole Kubik.
"I don't have any problem with Edwina being the MVP," Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. "She got them into the finals. We had three players on the first team, and I think that's a credit to our team.
"We're more concerned about the big trophy than about some little piece of paper."
The near-capacity crowd of 9,130 broke the previous record of 8,127, set last year.
"It was like Hilton [Coliseum] South," said Frese, referring
to the Cyclones' home court in Ames, Iowa. "It was like a home
game for us. The fans have been wonderful all year, and they were
really great tonight."