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Johnson, Cyclones storm back to upset over No. 23 Iowa

Seanna Johnson's 22 points and 10 rebounds, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter, was enough to rally the Cyclones to a three point win over the No. 23 Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday night at Hilton Coliseum.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Ames, IA -- While ISU coach Bill Fennelly said before the game that Iowa State would be the underdogs heading into the annual Cy-Hawk matchup against instate rival Iowa, the Cyclones didn't let it show.

Even when they were down 11 points midway through the third quarter, Iowa State (5-3, 0-0 Big 12) never folded. Iowa State rallied back from that deficit through a big 4th quarter run to upset No. 23 Iowa (8-2, 0-0 Big 10) 69-66 in front of more than 11,000 fans at Hilton Coliseum.

"I couldn't be more proud of our team," Fennelly said. "We played as hard as we could possibly play against a very, very good team. This team needed something like that. The way they finished this thing out was in true Iowa State fashion."

The big run didn't truly start until the end of the third quarter, where Iowa State's Nicole "Kidd" Blaskowsky threw a baseball-style pass to Meredith Burkhall for a buzzer-beating layup.

"The first thing was to catch the ball, then to turn around and shoot it," Burkhall said. "That was kind of a key point in the game when the emotions were high and we were ready to go on a run."

From then on out, the Cyclones outscored the Hawkeyes 25-12, leading them to their tenth win against the Hawkeyes at Hilton Coliseum.

The fourth quarter, though, belonged entirely to Seanna Johnson. In the fourth quarter alone, Johnson dropped 11 points and grabbed 5 points — exactly half of her 22 points and 10 rebounds for the entire game.

"I really think Seanna Johnson, she just took this game over," said Iowa coach Lisa Bluder. "She took it upon herself. She got to the old fashioned three-point plays, and she was also very good on the offensive glass."

Johnson's double-double is the 20th of her career and her seventh this season.

"Obviously she is a great player, but she's ultra competitive," Fennelly said. "Sometimes I think people kind of don't see that in her because of her personality. She's pretty understated. She doesn't show a lot of emotion. But she loves to win. What she does on both ends of the court changes this team."

Burkhall finished the game with 13 points and eight rebounds, while guard Jadda Buckley added 12 points. Iowa was led by Ally Disterhoft, who dropped 26 points on Friday night.

Johnson, though, wasn't focused on her big night. She just wanted to walk off the court at Hilton Coliseum victorious — nothing else mattered.

"I just wanted to win," Johnson said. "I know I'm not from Iowa, but this game has tremendously helped me grow. I think winning this game is a milestone for all of us. I know we didn't want to lose, so whatever I had to do for us to win, I would do it."