FREEPORT, Bahamas - Tournament MVP Hallie Christofferson scored 11 of her game-high 18 points during a 16-5 surge in which the Iowa State women's basketball team broke free of Illinois for a 68-50 victory in the championship game of the Junkanoo Jam.
The Cyclones (4-0) managed to win without the services of senior post Chelsea Poppens, who sat out after suffering a concussion during Friday's win over Loyola Marymount.
They also took care of the ball better after a brutal start. Iowa State made 15 turnovers in the first 25 minutes of the game but just two after that, using that 16-5 run to break open a 60-45 lead with 3:27 remaining.
Christofferson, who endured early foul trouble, capped the spurt with a 3-pointer.
"This win was pretty special," said ISU head coach Bill Fennelly. "We beat a Big Ten team to win a championship game without our best player. Illinois came into the game averaging 81 points and we held them to 50."
Nikki Moody contributed 16 points and six assists for the Cyclones, while Brynn Williamson added 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds on her way to all-tournament team honors.
South Tama County graduate Madison Baier, a 6-foot-4 freshman, grabbed three rebounds in 4 minutes of playing time for the Cyclones. She contributed three points and five boards in Friday's opening-round victory.
Ivory Crawford led Illinois (3-2) with 11 points, while Karisma Penn had 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Iowa State returns home to host Drake on Tuesday night at Hilton Coliseum.
Florida 80, Northern Iowa 63
LAS VEGAS - Florida used a 10-0 run to break open a 15-point lead during the first half on its way to an 80-63 victory over Northern Iowa in the SouthPoint Thanksgiving Shootout on Saturday.
Five players scored in double figures for the Gators (5-1), who shot 52 percent from the field and outrebounded the Panthers 38-30. Carlie Needles led Florida with 14 points.
Northern Iowa (2-3) was within five, 28-23, with 2:15 to play in the first half before Florida pulled away for good. The Panthers never again got as close as five.
Jacqui Kalin led the Panthers with 14 points, three assists and five rebounds. Amber Kirschbaum, Brittni Donaldson and Stephanie Davison each contributed 10 points.
Northern Iowa closes out the tournament with today's 4:30 p.m. game against North Carolina State.
George Mason 76, Drake 70
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Drake rallied back from a 22-point deficit during the first half but could not overtake George Mason in the final game of the Aggie Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday night.
Drake (1-3) trailed 39-17 with 3:52 left in the first half, but fought all the way back to tie the score twice inside the final 4 minutes of the game. Stephanie Running scored a layup to tie the score at 65-all with 2:49 left, but the Bulldogs got outscored 11-5 the rest of the way.
Rahneeka Saunders scored a career-high 33 points to lead George Mason (3-2) to victory.
Morgan Reid had a double-double of 14 points and 14 boards to lead Drake, while Kyndal Clark also scored 14 points.