AMES − With 3 minutes 32 seconds remaining in Sunday's Iowa State women's basketball game, freshman Addy Brown went to the bench for the final time. Brown, who had just capped off the biggest game of her young college career, was greeted by a loud ovation from the crowd and high-fives from her teammates and coaches.
"That was special," Brown said.
Brown was the star of the day, tallying a double-double and nearly a triple-double as Iowa State picked up its second-consecutive win with an 85-58 victory over UNCW at Hilton Coliseum Sunday. Brown tallied a career-high 24 points as the Cyclones improved to 4-3.
"She was really, really good," said Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly. "I don't think anyone who's in our building is surprised at some of the stuff she's doing."
Brown is quickly emerging as one of Iowa State's leaders and most potent offensive threats. The 6-foot-2 forward showcased her versatile skillset Sunday, running the point due to Iowa State's short-handed roster while also manning the three and the four spots.
Wherever Brown was, she was contributing, shooting 9-of-14 from the field including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Brown, who nearly had a double-double by halftime, finished with 10 assists and five rebounds in perhaps the best performance of her young career. She once again drew comparisons to former Iowa State greats Ashley Joens and Bridget Carleton.
"She's not Bridget or Ashley Joens, but she could be," Fennelly said.
Brown certainly looked like a future star. She was locked in from the start, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter as part of an 11-1 run. By halftime, she had 14 points, six assists and four rebounds as Iowa State was well on its way to another win with a 41-24 lead.
Brown and the Cyclones never let up. She drained another 3-pointer in a 7-0 run in the third quarter that gave Iowa State a 48-26 lead. Iowa State was so good that Fennelly was able to give his young star and some of her teammates some much-needed rest late in the game by emptying his bench.
"I tried to hunt my shot a little more today and just be aggressive from the start because it opens other things up," Brown said.
Audi Crooks added 16 points and five rebounds for the Cyclones. Jalynn Bristow chipped in with 13 points and six rebounds.
Arianna Jackson out with an illness
Iowa State was without freshman guard Arianna Jackson, who was dealing with an illness. Jackson was coming off her best game of the season after scoring seven points and tallying four steals in a win at St. Thomas. The former Des Moines Roosevelt star is averaging 3.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Fennelly said Jackson could have played Sunday if needed. But the team decided to err on the side of caution. Jackson is expected to be good to go for Wednesday's game against Iowa.
Cyclones get on track as they prepare for big matchup with Iowa
Sunday’s showdown was a final tune-up for Iowa State’s rivalry game against Iowa on Wednesday night in Ames. The Cy-Hawk game will be the biggest test of the young season for the Cyclones. The sold-out matchup may be coming at a good time for Iowa State, which is coming off dominating wins at St. Thomas and against UNCW.
"Those two games are definitely just momentum that's going to push us forward in the week," Bristow said. “I feel like the energy coming from two wins can lead on to big energy coming on into this next game."
Turnovers still a concern for the Cyclones
There were only two big issues for Iowa State Sunday: 3-point shooting and turnovers.
The Cyclones' shooting has shown promising moments this season. So that's not a major worry. But turnovers have plagued Iowa State plenty this season. Iowa State turned it over 17 times in Sunday's win. It's not a major surprise given Iowa State's off-season roster makeover and teammates still learning to play with each other. But taking care of the ball certainly will be an emphasis moving forward.
"That's something we continue to work through and we have to get better at," Fennelly said.
Tommy Birch, the Register's sports enterprise and features reporter, has been working at the newspaper since 2008. He's the 2018 and 2020 Iowa Sportswriter of the Year. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-284-8468.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa State women's basketball beats UNC Wilmington behind Addy Brown