When the Iowa State women’s basketball team takes to the floor on Thursday evening at the University of Cincinnati, it will be the second time a Cyclone women’s basketball team has played on that hard-court. If you want to know what the first was you have to go back a few years, actually 15 years to be exact.
Fifteen years ago, Iowa State advanced to the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance after downing Santa Clara and Rutgers in Ames in the first and second rounds. After advancing to the the Sweet 16, Iowa State was sent to Cincinnati to face No. 1 seed Connecticut.
What happened on March 20, 1999, in what was formerly called the Shoemaker Center has never been forgotten by the Cyclone faithful.
If you need a refresher, here is a small one detailing the biggest 5:26 in Iowa State women’s basketball history.
With 5:26 left on the clock against No. 1 seed UConn, and Iowa State trailing by six, Monica Huelman would sink one from long to close the gap to three, 50-47. Huelman’s shot opened the floodgates for Iowa State as they went on a three-point blitz, knocking down five-consecutive treys in a three-minute span to take the last lead of the game. The Cyclones shocked the women’s basketball world with a 64-58 win over Connecticut.
Since the win over UConn, the Cyclones have made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances and are one of just 13 schools to make the last seven-consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
In a way that performance in what is now called Fifth Third Arena was a message to the women’s basketball world. A message that showed that Iowa State was here to stay.