The Iowa State women had the backing of a boisterous crowd at Municipal Auditorium, which coach Bill Fennelly calls "Hilton South."
But Kansas State had Jalena Childs.
Childs, a 6-2 junior forward, scored a career-best 31 points with 10 rebounds and held Iowa State’s all-conference forward Chelsea Poppins to just seven points as the fifth-seeded Wildcats upset the fourth-seeded Cyclones 67-63 in the opening quarterfinal of the Big 12 women’s tournament.
Kansas State, 19-12, had lost both regular-season games to Iowa State, 18-12, just as the Wildcats did a year ago. But just as they did last year, K-State knocked off Iowa State in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.
Childs rebounded a miss with 1:51 to play that gave Kansas State a 61-59 lead, and her left-handed jumper with 21 seconds left gave the Cats a 64-61 lead.
Fittingly, she grabbed her 10th rebound with 1.6 seconds to play, was fouled and made one of the two free throws for her final point.
Kansas State will likely face No. 1-ranked and undefeated Baylor in Friday’s noon semifinal. The Bears, 31-0, were to face ninth-seeded Texas Tech later on Thursday.