After a dominating performance over the Red Raiders, the Cyclone Women’s Basketball team took to Norman, Oklahoma to take on the Sooners. The Cyclones have hit a little bit of a rough patch since winning in the first matchup with OU on January 19th, losing 3 of their last 5. They’d look to continue their momentum from the Texas Tech game, and complete the season sweep of the Sooners.
But boy did they not start off like a team that wanted to win. Sure, Kristin Scott got the Cyclones on the board first with a triple almost 3:00 in (yeah, you read that right. Neither team scored until 7:13 to go in the 1st) but that was about all the Cyclones did right in their opening 10 minutes. The Cyclones went 3-19 in the opening frame (not including 0-4 from the charity stripe) and found themselves in an early 18-8 deficit. Regardless of how the rest of the game went, 8 points in a quarter isn’t how you win a game and was the lowest points scored in a quarter for the miserable 4th quarter collapse against Iowa, when the Cyclones only managed 7 points.
The Cyclones did manage to start hitting shots in the 2nd quarter, but it was answered every time by Oklahoma who also started hitting theirs. The teams traded shots for a while, but Oklahoma hit a quick spurt of 8 to extend the lead to 16 with just under 4 minutes to go in the half. Joens provided a spark in response for Iowa State, but it wasn’t Ashley. Instead, Aubrey Joens hit back-to-back triples followed by a Kristin Scott layup and the Cyclones hit their own 8-0 run in just 1:00 of game time. The Cyclones would head to the half down just 7, 35-28.
The 3rd quarter saw the return of the Cyclones cold shooting, and the return of the double-digit deficit. The Sooners had an answer for everything the Cyclones threw at the hoop with shots of their own, and they were just able to maintain the lead. Never extending it, never losing it. Just pacing the game up and down the court, holding the lead, and doing exactly what they needed to hold the Cyclones at bay. With the 4th quarter on the horizon, the Cyclones found themselves in a 53-43 hole.
It wasn’t meant to be for the Cyclones on this night, as much like in their recent losses, they were able to get the deficit to 1 possession (in this case 59-62 with 2:43 to go) but never able to get themselves over the hump. Madi Williams of the Sooners answered the Aubrey Joens layup to cut it to 3, and the Cyclones were held to just 2 points (and Ashley Joens layup with 26 seconds left) over the final 2:42 and fell to the Sooners 67-61.
Once again there were plenty of things that went wrong for the Cyclones. You could look at their 3-point shooting in which the Cyclones were just 9 of 35. You might look at shooting as a whole, in which the Cyclones were 24-63 as a team... But I think the biggest thing for the Cyclones was the same issue that plagued them against West Virginia. They didn’t do themselves any favors at the foul line. It started early with their 0-4 1st quarter, but even throughout the rest of the game, the Cyclones only managed to go 4-6, finishing 4-10 on the night. That has to improve if this team is going to make a run. They’ve shown the ability to overcome the bad 3-point shooting, but if you aren’t taking your “free” points at the foul line, the Big 12 conference is good enough to punish you.
The Cyclones will look to rebound on Saturday as they return to Hilton to take on the Horned Frogs of TCU.
Iowa State Cyclones