Three is a Magic Number

Tara Gunderson netted the first 3-pointer in the streak.

Tara Gunderson netted the first 3-pointer in the streak.

Anyone who is a fan of Cyclone women’s basketball knows this is a team that knocks down a lot of threes. Some days they fall and other times they don’t, but it’s very much engrained in the identity of this program. So much so, that they haven’t gone a single game without connecting on one from downtown since 1995. Yes, that’s right … 1995.

I’m not sure what you were doing in 1995, but I was likely watching Barney and hoping mom would give me chicken nuggets for dinner. In case you need a refresher on what was happening in February of 1995, I did some digging for you.

–          The No. 1 song was TLC’s “Creep.”

–          The No. 1 movie was “Billy Madison.”

–          The New York Times No. 1 bestseller was O.J. Simpson’s “I Want to Tell You.”

–          Cyclone freshman Seanna Johnson wasn’t born yet (May 8, 1995).

–          NFL Expansion Draft for Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers took place on Feb. 15, 1995.

–          ISU MBB alums Victor Alexander (Golden State) and Jeff Grayer (Philadelphia) appeared in NBA games that day.

–          Michael Jordan was in spring training with the Chicago White Sox. He would issue the famous “I’m Back” statement with the Bulls a month later (March 18, 1995).

–          The state Board of Regents approved plans for the Jacobson Building on February 15, 1995.

–          And lastly— this one may make you cringe – the price of gas was $1.13 a gallon.

This 19-year old streak covers a lot of memorable moments in Cyclone women’s basketball history. The streak even predates head coach Bill Fennelly’s tenure by a few games, three to be exact.

This Saturday, pending a 3-point make, the streak is set to hit 600 consecutive games. The 600 consecutive games is also the NCAA record. Over the 600-game streak, Iowa State has drained 4,650 3-pointers for an average of 7.76 per game. It would be hard to find another program in the nation who has drained that many three’s over the last 19 years.

With a streak covering 19 years, there had to be a few games where it very nearly came to an end. Below are a few of those moments.

–          Seven times Iowa State hit just one 3-pointer in a game, and of those seven, five were in the second half.

–          The latest ISU knocked down a 3-pointer was with just 4:05 remaining in the second half when Julie Hand sank a trey in March of 1997 against Colorado. The 3-pointer was also the only make of the game for ISU.

–          Iowa State has drained three or less 3-pointers on 56 occasions during the streak.

And, in case you’re just itching to know some random facts about our 3-point streak we have some numbers for you thanks to our stats guru Chris Andringa.

–          The earliest “icebreaker” as we call them goes to Anne O’Neil, who hit a trey just 0:07 seconds into the first half at Kansas in January of 2005.

–          Megan Taylor and Megan Ronhovde hold the record for most career icebreakers with 43.

–          Of active players, Brynn Williamson has the most career icebreakers with 26 and counting.

–          Kidd Blaskowsky has hit the 4,300th, 4,400th, 4,500th and 4,600th 3-pointer during the streak.

Yes, I know there have been a few games where the three’s just haven’t come, but when that happens just think about all the games where Hilton Coliseum was proudly waving around Cardinal and Gold poster cards with just the No. 3 written on it. It’s symbolic and it’s part of the identity of this program and even “Hilton Magic” itself.


About Nicole Leusink

I'm in my fifth year at Iowa State as the communications director for women's basketball. I also assist with football and swimming and diving. I am a 2011 graduate of the University of Florida and a Pittsburgh native. I am excited to give you a behind the scenes look at Iowa State athletics. Feel free to send me an e-mail at You can also find me on twitter @NicoleGreiner. And as always, Go Cyclones!
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