This game got off to a very weird start. Pop was back and was firing from inside and made ISU's early baskets. This was nice to see! On the down side the Sisters were dominated on the boards early on and this led to extra opportunities for Columbia. They used the rebounds and a couple of uncharacteristic turnovers by Loz to build a quick 9-4 lead. The ladies would answer back though as Bolte would nail a three to close the gap. The defensive rebounding was horrible to start as Columbia just seemed to out hustle and get good spots on the offensive end. Fortunately they also missed most of the put backs.

The action got moving and our ladies were putting the hustle mode on the floor. An offensive board led to a Big-C layup and foul which she picked up. ISU had the lead. It was apparent that Columbia was going to live and die by the three early on as they hit 3 in the first 9 minutes. That, and our misses, kept this game close. It was obvious that Coach Fennelly wanted the bigs to be involved and Zimm and Big-C were doing just that. The ball was going inside and the bigs weren't disappointing as Big C and Pop had most of our points early on.

Something that just seemed strange was the number of turnovers in the first half by Loz. In one case, the ball was lost on two straight possessions. This may not be a surprise as the Lions are known for steals (ave 9 per game). In any case, Columbia kept missing and missing which definitely helped ISU's cause. Not exactly the kind of game you want to show recruits unless you are telling them playing time is available!

In the first half the rebounding was handled predominantly by Big-C and Jess. I was surprised Pop wasn't more active there, but no doubt she was working hard. That would change as the game went on as Pop was scrambling after balls and pulled down some great offensive boards. As my buddy said, the Pop of "old" was back. I also still don't like the free throw shooting by this team. Kels and Jess both missed the front end and that is nearly like a turnover and Zimm missed a bonus. Bolt was also doing what she's been told to do - keep shooting even when she isn't hitting. I had faith that they would start falling at some point. What I was disappointed in was that Jess didn't take a single shot until late in the first stanza. Puzzling.

Nice stat of the first half….Columbia didn't score from about the 12 minute mark onward until the got two free throws right before the half. The ladies went on a real splurge to end the half by blocking, stealing and rebounding the ball and turning it into an 9 point run in the last two minutes.

Highlights? Pop was very active. Zimm was playing hard. Someone besides Bolte was doing the bulk of the scoring. Jess was making a difference on the defensive end. She's a stud there folks.

I'll just say this now. The second half was a repeat of the first for Columbia. The wheels not had fallen off, but the engine seized throwing the occupants out of the car. (They all landed safely). The lions simply couldn't buy a shot. Even when ISU's smothering defense gave them a shot it wouldn't fall. Add to that ISU was on the boards and had several steals that led to scores.

As has been the case in many games this year, the Sisters had a somewhat lethargic first half and came out with fire in their eyes in the second. Most of the scoring was by players other than what you saw in the first. Kels came into the game and nailed a couple of threes. Zimm remained perfect from the field, and Loz made a couple of nice, ok…killer shots.

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but the second half was simply all ISU as they rolled the Lions by a 42-13 margin. The Lions shot around 16 percent for the game and our ladies in red hit over 50%. Yes, the Lions are a very bad team. Perhaps just the medicine for a team coming off the Iowa game. One side note…apparently our Sisters were sicker (other than Pop) than was published. Even the coaches have experienced this bug. That softens the blow of the blowout just a teeny bit.

Here is the story of this stanza…Columbia miss, ISU rebound (insert a score or miss for ISU here…more often than not a score), Columbia miss, ISU rebound, etc.There were a couple of possessions where the ladies had 2 and 3 offensive rebounds. Even with all the misses (and it seemed like too many) the Sisters still shot over 50% on the game. Amazing.

What we did see in the second half was Big C continuing to score and some aggressiveness by Prins. Let's talk about Prins. She got some quality minutes in the second half and this was the first time I've seen her really get into the game this year. She didn't hit much from the field, but she was going to the basket enough that she was fouled instead. That led to her hitting 10-12 free throws which is what you have to do in her position. Add to that she pulled down 10 boards. For a period in the half it seemed like the announcer could have just used a recording of "rebound Prins!" Yes, the Lions are not good, but it was nice to see her hopefully gain some confidence. She ended up being the leading scorer for the clones with 14, followed by Big C ith 13 and Bolte with 11. Very nice balance. What still concerns me about Prins is that she still doesn't handle the ball very well with passes coming in to her. Obviously she doesn't have a lot of hand strength and it won't change over night.

A note of concern. The free throw shooting of our front court. Look at these numbers - Loz (2-4), Jess (1-3), Kels (0-2), Cole (0-2). Not good. That contributed to the team only nailing 60 percent of their 25 free throws. Ugh. I'm hoping it was more a case of fatigue and not having their legs than anything else.

On the upside you have to look at what the bigs did today. Prins 14 and 10, Pop 8 and 9, Big C 13 and 4, and Zimm with 9 and 3. You have to like those numbers. Now if we can see something close against a good team.

So what's next? The ladies are going to get the next three days off according to Coach Fennelly. With the illness hitting the team the rest will be good and a focus on finals is critical. Cal State Northridge is next up on the 20th. It appears they are another team like Columbia. They are currently 0-9 and most of the defeats are by double digits. Seems like it could be another game where the bench gets lots of playing time. See you there!