Iowa St. 79, Kent 76
AMES, Iowa (AP) _ Stacy Frese scored 19 of her 25 points in the first half and No. 24 Iowa State got a big second half from Jayme Olson in beating Kent 79-76 Saturday in a first-round NCAA Mideast Regional game.
Fourth-seeded Iowa State (25-7) survived an intense game to move into a second-round matchup Monday night against fifth-seeded Rutgers (21-9), a 79-76 winner over Oregon.
Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly hyperventilated at the end of the game and had to be helped to the dressing room but was OK afterwards and attended the postgame news conference.
Kent (23-7), a No. 13 seed, gave Iowa State problems throughout with its full-court pressure and half-court traps but fell just short with a late run and had a 19-game winning streak broken.
Trailing 79-71, Kent got a 3-pointer from Dawn Zerman and a turnaround shot inside by Julie Studer to cut the lead to 79-76 with 1:02 left. The Golden Flashes then had two good chances to tie the score after Iowa State’s Erica Haugen missed a long 3-point shot as the shot clock expired.
But Studer, a freshman, was called for traveling with 14.2 seconds to play and, after Frese missed two free throws, Kent misfired on two 3-point shots at the end.
Olson, shut down in the first half, scored 16 of her 18 points in the second half, making all seven of her shots. Iowa State had only three baskets in the final 11 minutes, all by Olson, but built a lead by making 12 of 15 free throws.
Megan Taylor added 15 points and 17 rebounds for Iowa State and Amanda Bartz scored 10. Zerman led Kent with 21 points, Studer scored 20 and Ashley Bland 14.
Kent forced 26 turnovers, but Iowa State made 24 of 32 free throws while Kent was 5-for-8 at the line.
Iowa State jumped to a 10-0 lead as Taylor and Frese each hit 3-pointers. Kent came back with 14 straight points, five by Bland, and the two teams battled on even terms the rest of the way.
Kent’s last lead was 69-67 on a turnaround shot by Studer. Frese, who didn’t make a field goal in the second half, then hit two free throws to start a 12-2 run that made it 79-71.