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Twister Sisters roll Butler in season opener

Dominant start to 2023

Syndication: The Ames Tribune Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Twister Sisters’ season began hosting the Butler Bulldogs. After an offseason that saw many players leave for various reasons, the Cyclones brought in a Top 10 recruiting class along with some veteran transfers to help lead a young but talented group of Cyclones.

The Cyclones started off relatively slow, which given the current absence of Emily Ryan along with 4 new starters, you may have expected. A pair of freshmen in Addy Brown and Arianna Jackson started along with transfers Isnelle Natabou and Hannah Belanger. Joining them on the court was the lone returning starter and fan-favorite Nyamer Diew.

The teams traded baskets early on, exchanging the lead for the first five minutes of the game. Then as Nyamer Diew hit a floater in the paint while drawing a foul, the Cyclones took a lead that they would not relinquish as once Butler cut the lead to one with 2:35 to go in the quarter, both teams would go cold before freshman Kelsey Joens would hit the first Cyclone three of the game to close out the frame 16-12 in favor of the home team.

The Cyclones started the second quarter with some electric play in the paint as they’d go on a 6-0 run to extend their lead to 22-12. The Cyclones would maintain that double-digit lead for most of the second quarter until the 2:21 mark when Butler Sophomore Jordan Muelemans would connect on back-to-back 3s followed by a wide open Lilly Stoddard layup in transition would cut the Cyclone lead back to just 6 before the halftime break, 29-23.

Butler would continue their hot streak into the 3rd quarter, cutting the Cyclone lead back down to one at 34-33 after Caroline Strande would make a jump shot at the 7:38 mark. Butler wouldn’t get the lead though. Right on queue, Kelsey Joens sunk a layup and then Nyamer Diew (who played at Butler as a freshman) took over. Five straight points from the senior extended the Cyclone lead back up to 8. The Cyclones would then get a pair of 3-pointers form Joens and Brown to extend the lead up to 12 with about three and a half minutes to go in the 3rd. The Cyclone flurry would continue through the 3rd quarter, extending the lead to 57-42 on Kelsey Joens’ third triple of the afternoon.

The Cyclones continued to dominate through the 4th quarter, including getting some minutes with all five players of the incoming freshman class getting minutes together, with Arianna Jackson knocking down her first 3-point shot late in the game. The Cyclones had a plethora of players subbing in and out at virtually every stoppage, which given the young class, isn’t a terrible surprise. Iowa State rolled through the 4th quarter with ease, outscoring Butler 25-13 in the final frame to take home an 82-55 win.

Nyamer Diew led the Cyclones with 19 points (9 rebounds) while Isnelle Natabou added 14 (5/7 shooting), Kelsey Joens had 13 off the bench (8 rebounds), and Addy Brown ended with 11 (5/7 shooting.) It was an all-around dominating performance for the Cyclones who settled into their groove after halftime. The Cyclones shot 50% from the floor while holding Butler to just 33% and dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Bulldogs 52-31.

Iowa State will head to the Knapp Center in Des Moines to take on a different Bulldogs team in Drake on November 12th at 2:00 p.m. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.


Iowa State Cyclones

Butler Bulldogs