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Iowa History Daily: March 20 - Iowa State Upsets UConn

Iowa History Daily: On March 20, 1999, the Iowa State basketball team upset perennial power UConn in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. The Cyclones beat the top-seeded Huskies 64-58 to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history.

A team full of all-time talent, Coach Bill Fennelly’s squad featured Cyclones greats Angie Welle, Stacy Frese, and Megan Taylor. Fresh off a devastating loss to Rutgers in the NCAA tournament the year prior, Iowa State entered the season with high hopes. Starting out 13-1 and rising to as high as no. 14 in the nation, signaled a special season might be in the cards for the Cyclones. Iowa State went undefeated in Hilton Coliseum while also handing Kansas its first-ever conference loss at the Phog. 22-7 heading into postseason play, Iowa State stood ready for a challenge.

In the school’s first ever women’s basketball Sweet Sixteen, the Cyclones faced the tall task of no.1 overall UConn. Iowa State hung tough, battling throughout the early contest to a 39-39 tie with 14:45 to play. Then the Cyclones went cold as an 0-for-6 start to the half from 3-point range led to a five-minute scoring drought.

With UConn up 50-44 with just over five minutes left things looked bleak for Iowa State. Monica Huelman squared up a three-pointer and knocked it down, shifting the momentum. Down the stretch, Stacy Frese hit two more of Iowa State’s five 3-pointers to help the Cyclones to a 17-5 run to go up 61-55 with just 1:47 left. Iowa State never let go, launching the team to the program’s first Elite Eight and one of the most memorable wins in school history. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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