IOWA STATE 67, AUBURN 64
Ames, IA -- Iowa State senior and all-Big 12 first teamer Bridget Carleton missed two free throws with the score tied and 33 seconds to go against Auburn, but she converted a layup with nine seconds left and blocked a shot at :02 to send the Cyclones into the 2018 Preseason WNIT championship game.
Iowa State (3-0) will host Miami or Marquette in the title game, set for 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 18 (televised on CBS Sports Network).
The Cyclones looked to have the upper hand after an 8-0 run (including two jumpers from Alexa Middleton) pushed them ahead of the Tigers (3-1) by a 64-54 margin with 2:21 left. However, Auburn's Janiah McKay hit three 3-pointer in just over 45 seconds, and her last one tied the score at 64-all with 41 seconds to go. Carleton missed her free throws; McKay was whistled for an offensive foul at :13, and Carleton made her game-winner.
On a night where Iowa State missed its first nine 3-pointers and seemed to be playing uphill, freshman Ashley Joens breathed fresh life into the Cyclones with three fourth-quarter bombs. Joens finished with 18 points, and Carleton closed with 15 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Madison Wise added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Meredith Burkhall chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Tigers took a 15-point lead at one point in the second quarter, capped by two free throws from Thompson and a 3-pointer by Emari Jones with 2:28 to go before the break. In the third quarter, Iowa State had another scoring drought of more than 5:30, but a 3-pointer at the buzzer pulled the Cyclones into a 45-45 tie. Auburn was outscored 16-7 in that frame.
Auburn was paced by Unique Thompson, who had 19 points and 14 rebounds. Jones had 15 points and seven rebounds, and McKay closed with 14 points.