AMES - Call it lucky number 23.
Iowa State senior Chelsea Poppens had a double-double of 23 points as well as 15 rebounds to become the 23rd women's basketball player in program history to eclipse 1,000 points in her career, helping the Cyclones overtake Western Illinois 84-65 in Sunday's season-opener at Hilton Coliseum.
Poppens had 17 points and seven rebounds in the first half on the way to her 23rd career double-double.
Yet Western Illinois led 40-38 at the intermission, connecting on 54 percent of their shots from the field.
"We have Chelsea Poppens and they didn't, and we might be saying that a lot," said ISU coach Bill Fennelly.
Iowa State outscored the Leathernecks 46-25 after the break, shooting decidedly better from distance in the second half.
After missing their first 10 3-point attempts, the Cyclones finished the first half 3-of-14 from beyond the arc. They were 8-of-15 in the second half, with Brynn Williamson and Kidd Blaskowsky both making a trio of treys.
One minute into the second half, a field goal by Anna Prins gave Iowa State the lead for good and Fennelly his 18th season-opening win in as many tries.
"We had good energy in the second half defensively, the first half not so," Fennelly said. "But to get through it without your starting point guard and Hallie's foul trouble, we're OK.
"Overall it's a good way to start the season."
Sophomore point guard Nikki Moody missed her first career game because of illness, while junior Hallie Christofferson picked up three fouls in the first half. She was limited to only 27 minutes of game action but finished with 15 points and six boards.
Prins finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
"Probably halftime was when we kicked it on, and you could tell in the second half we came out more focused, more ready to play with a lot more energy and it showed," said Christofferson.
Poppens became the first player since Kelsey Bolte (2007-11) to reach 1,000 career points, while her team-leading rebounding performance pushed her past Janel Grimm (813 rebounds; 1995-98) into sixth on ISU's all-time list with 816 boards.
"It's an honor," said Poppens, an Aplington native. "I didn't really think about it too much during the game."
Stepping in for Moody, true freshman Emiah Bingley racked up 11 assists to go with six points, five steals, four rebounds and only three turnovers in her first 37 minutes of collegiate basketball. Her 11 assists is the most-ever by a Cyclone in her first career game.
Four players reached double-digit scoring for Western Illinois, led by Saule Kontautaite's 16 points. Michelle Maher, Rebecca Henricson and Charnelle Reed each finished with 10 points.
The Leathernecks got outrebounded 46-25 and committed 18 turnovers to ISU's 13.
Iowa State is back at home next Sunday, hosting North Dakota for a 1 p.m. game inside Hilton.