Missed shots doom Iowa State women

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AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State’s lasting image of this year’s NCAA tournament will be of balls spinning out of the basket or bouncing harmlessly off the rim.

For the Cyclones, it was not a pretty sight.

Natasha Howard had her school-record 15th double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds, and 10th-seeded Florida State defeated cold-shooting Iowa State 55-44 in the first round of the NCAA women’s tournament on Saturday.

Iowa State, which lives and dies with its perimeter shooting, missed 15 of its first 16 shots and never recovered.

“It’s a game where you’ve got to make shots. You’ve got to score the ball,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to do that better. It’s the nature of the game. Unfortunately, when it happens in this environment, you’re done.”

Florida State (21-11) won its 11th straight tournament opener since 1991, prevailing in a game in which turnovers outnumbered field goals 44-36, and moved into a second-round game Monday night.

Hallie Christofferson scored 13 points in her final game for seventh-seeded Iowa State (20-11), which fell behind 14-2 and was never closer than six points after that. Brynn Williamson added 12 on four 3-pointers and Jadda Buckley had 10.

The Cyclones, playing on their home court, had their worst shooting performance of the season. Their 15 field goals were a season low, as was their 25.4-percent (in)accuracy. They were just 7 of 38 on 3-pointers (18.4 percent).

“We came out a little flat and we didn’t hit our shots,” Christofferson said. “They stepped up and made theirs. It comes down to making shots and we didn’t make them.”

There was little quibbling over the type of shots the Cyclones got. They would run a play perfectly - and then miss an open shot. Usually, it was a 3-pointer. But the Cyclones also missed layups and putback attempts.

“The playbook is fine. We ran our plays, we did what we needed to do,” Williamson said. “The ball wasn’t going in the basket. That’s going to happen on any given day, but you don’t have time for that in the first round, at home, in front of so many great people.”

It was an especially frustrating day for point guard Nikki Moody and freshman Seanna Johnson, who were a combined 2-for-19 for the field and totaled just five points between them.

The Cyclones also had 19 turnovers and were outscored 30-14 in the paint.

“We couldn’t make enough consecutive plays on either end of the floor to change the outcome,” Fennelly said. “They were the better team today.”

Cheetah Delgado had 10 points and six assists for the Seminoles, while Ivey Slaughter grabbed 13 rebounds.

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