Last Time Out
It was a tale of two halves in Hilton Coliseum, as Iowa State took down West Virginia by the score of 70-50. It was tied at 37 apiece at the half, but the Cyclones locked down on defense in the second half to make this a blowout.
Ashley Joens led the way in a very notable night for single-player stats. With 19 points and 11 rebounds, she notched her 55th double-double in her career. That passes Angie Welle for the most all-time. She also made two threes, which put her above Heather Ezell and Megan Taylor for threes made in a career. Joens now holds 6 records and is 19 rebounds shy of holding the career rebounds record.
Lexi Donarski reached the 1,000-point milestone with her 15-point performance and Stephanie Soares recorded the 6th 20-rebound game in ISU history as she added 13 points for her 8th double-double of the season. The last 20-rebound game came in Ashley Joens’ 10-point, 20-rebound game against Kansas in March of 2020.
Not a whole lot has changed from a year ago with Oklahoma, aside from adding former ISU guard Aubrey Joens. Unless you count the return of senior guard Ana Llanusa whose season ended after 10 games a year ago. Llanusa averaged 17.3 points before going down and while her production has gone down this year, the Oklahoma offense is very much firing on all cylinders.
The trio of Llanusa, Taylor Robertson, and Madi Williams has been awesome for Oklahoma so far this season. Williams leads OU in scoring with 17 ppg, Llanusa at 11.6 ppg, and Robertson at 11.2 ppg.
Taylor Robertson is one of the most fascinating players in the country and has been for the last few seasons. In her previous four seasons, she has averaged no less than 14 ppg while only attempting two shots from inside the arc per game. Unreal. This year, her scoring is down, but she is currently averaging 0.6 two-point shots per contest. She absolutely lights it up from deep, a career 44% three-point shooter with 485 career makes, just 13 away from breaking the all-time record (Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State 2015-18).
The Sooners average 87 points per game, good for 4th in Division I. They rank inside the top 25 in 2-point percentage, effective field goal percentage, points per scoring attempt, and points per play. Worth noting, OU is 5th in the country in possessions per game at nearly 81 per 40 minutes. They are certainly one of the best offensive teams in the country, but they have a glaring weakness
Not a whole lot of defense being played in Norman. They give up 74.2 points per game, which is 331st in the NCAA. Not great, Bob. They also give up free throws on 18.6% of possessions. Iowa State is 15th in the country with a 22.2% free throw rate. Some might say getting to the line is going to be a factor in this game.
I think Oklahoma is the better offensive team in this matchup, but defense wins championships and, more importantly, regular season games against Oklahoma.
Opponent Player to Watch
Madi Williams leads the Sooners in scoring (17 ppg) by a wide margin and has pieced together a solid career for the Sooners. Her volume has decreased, but she has become a more efficient player. She’s listed as a forward at just 6 feet tall, so it will be a mystery who gets her defensive assignment. She’s not a threat from deep (famous last words) so I anticipate a big guarding Williams all game. Iowa State’s size could give Williams and the Sooners all sorts of problems.
What Will Happen
Iowa State’s defense is too much for Oklahoma. “The SOONER I can get out of Norma the better, am I right? Clones in fo’.”
Iowa State University - 82
University of Oklahoma - 72
- Ashley Joens dunks on Aubrey Joens.
- Cyclones out-rebound the Sooners by 10+.
- Iowa State makes more free throws than Oklahoma shoots.
The Matchup: No. 11 Iowa State(10-2, 2-0 Big 12) @ No. 17 Oklahoma (11-2, 1-1 Big 12)
Where: Lloyd Noble Center - Norman, Oklahoma
When: Sunday, January 8th, 2023 - 2 pm
TV: ESPN2 Talent: Courtney Lyle, Carolyn Peck
Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/Varsity Radio App Talent: Noah Wolf, Jamie Steyer Johnson
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
The Series: Oklahoma leads 42-30