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Twister Sisters Before The Storm: Baylor

The return of the Joens sisters.

Last Time Out

The short-handed Cyclones took on 15th-ranked Texas, in what could be a huge win for either team. The Cyclones hung around in the first half, but Texas built up a big lead by giving up just 4 third-quarter points to Iowa State. The Longhorns really took control in the second half and did not give up any of their lead, winning 66-48.

Iowa State shot just 12-43 (27.9%) from the field, a season-worst by far. Emily Ryan led the way with 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists, but 7 turnovers plagued the ISU offense. Lexi Donarski scored 14 points on 16 shots, and the rest of the Cyclones were all under 5 points. Anyway, onto the next!

About Baylor

The 15th-ranked Lady Bears (yes, they are tied with Texas for 15th) come in at 12-4, and just 2-2 in Big 12 play. Based on their record alone, you can tell these are not the Lady Bears of the wicked witch of the south Kim Mulkey. Nicki Collen now leads the program. Collen was a long-time assistant in both the NCAA and WNBA, before catching her break in 2018 when she was named the head coach of the Atlanta Dream. In her first season there, she led the Dream to a semi-final appearance and earned Coach of The Year on the WNBA.

Baylor only has 10 players on their roster, which might be due to Mulkey’s departure but it is still worth noting. This is also one of the smaller Baylor teams in terms of height in a few years, not having anyone above 6’ 3”. They still do work the ball in the post, but they shoot a lot more threes than they ever did under Mulkey. They don’t make a ton, but they definitely have a more diverse offense now. In all losses this season, they haven’t made more than six threes, so if the ISU guards can keep them in check from out there, this could be a deciding factor.

Opponent Player to Watch

NaLyssa Smith has had a tremendous career at Baylor. She was the 2021 consensus Bog 12 Player of The Year and also won the WBCA Wade Trophy, given to the National Player of The Year. She leads Baylor in scoring at 20.4 points per game and also snags over 12 rebounds a game. She is very similar to Kansas State’s Ayoka Lee, so this might cause some issues for Iowa State. Smith is listed at 6’ 2” on ESPN, but the Baylor website has her at 6’ 4”. Do what you want with that information.

What Will Happen

Cyclones get back on track and hit some big shots down the stretch to give them a big ole capital “W”. “Baylor? I barely knew her. Clones in fo’.”

Iowa State University - 76

Baylor University - 64

Pick Three

  1. Ashley Joens comes back with a vengeance.
  2. The Cyclones double NaLyssa Smith early and often.
  3. Iowa State makes 5+ more threes than Baylor.

Game Notes

The Matchup: No. 7 Iowa State (16-2, 5-1 Big 12) vs. No. 15 Baylor (12-4, 2-2 Big 12)

Where: Ferrell Center - Waco, Texas

When: Sunday, Jan. 23 at 2:00 p.m.

TV: ESPN2 Talent: Beth Mowins, Deb Antonelli

Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/Varsity Radio App Talent: Noah Wolf, Jamie Steyer Johnson

Live Stats: Cyclonestats.com