Twister Sister Summary - Baylor stays #1
I've waited a whole day to think about this game before commenting on it. I decided that I'm not going to summarize the game per se, but to comment on what I think might come from it interspersed with game happenings.
To say that the game started out rough for ISU is an understatement. Five turnovers in the first 8 minutes and no points is not what you want to do on any opponent's court let alone the #1 team in the country. As I've thought about it, the game reminded me of Nebraska in Ames last year. The Cornhuskers were starting their run as the first undefeated team in Big-12 play and the game started out somewhat like this one. What we saw happen was very similar to what we saw yesterday. The Sisters fought back. Many teams would fold up like a card table with bad legs. Instead, the Sisters never lost their composure which is saying something this year considering our youth and inexperience. To me that is perhaps the most important point to take from the first half of this game...perhaps the entire game.
I also was pleased to see how Anna "Purple Rain" Prins performed. OK...hokey nickname, but the way she was hitting 3's its all I could come up with. We've seen her start to appear in the last couple of games and I wondered what would happen against a very talented post like Griner and her colleagues. Prins got in some early foul trouble which didn't help State, but like the rest of the team she made her presence felt. It was critical that she pull defenders out to the perimeter with her deep shooting and she did what she needed to. Unfortunately, things didn't continue in the second half when she was really needed. This was partially due to her foul problems, but she just can't fade away like that. I'm hopeful at what I'm seeing from her as her numbers were very good for this tough game. I hope she comes out as a force against Nebraska.
My greatest pleasure was seeing Bolte make her presence known. I assumed she would be Baylor's #1 target and they couldn't shut her down. She got it done and is having a very fine senior season. I'm going to stop worrying about her but rather depending on her in each game.
Another observation was concerning the defense. This is honestly the first game (and I don't count the flu stricken Iowa game) where I felt like we didn't have our normal presence but we didn't have the answers for everything Baylor threw at us. This is more about the depth of Baylor and their talent level. Two years running they've signed two of the top rated, if not the top rated, players in the country. They have a bench that can score..everyone one of them. When I looked at team stats prior to the game this was something that really differentiated them from our Sisters. We don't have that bench scoring. They are parts to a machine.
Of course the biggest disparity in the game was at the foul line. Using a page out of the ISU playbook, Baylor made more free throws that ISU attempted. That literally was the difference in this game. We made our share of 3's. Our key players scored. Baylor got to the line twice as often as our ladies and that is where this game was lost.
So, what's next? I don't think there is going to be a hangover from this game. We didn't get blown out like some thought we might. If anything, we showed that perhaps we are a legit top-25 team. We stayed as close to Baylor as nearly anyone has all season and on their court. I personally believe that we are going to see a fired up Cyclone team hit the floor against a tough Nebraska squad on Tuesday. I'm hoping we make a statement and come ready to open a can of whoop *** on the huskerettes. We have an interesting schedule that will mix some very tough (ATM) with teams we should handle (Mizzou). We also have Nebraska twice in a two week span. If all goes as I think it can, we very well could be as good as 5-1 in the conference by the end of January. The hinge game is against ATM at home on the 22nd. With this team we are going to have to have consistency in the area that hurt against Baylor - defense. If the defense clicks the offense will come.
Re: Twister Sister Summary - Baylor stays #1
Great post! I, too, was disheartened with the poor start; fouls, poor passes, and missed shots. I did, however, gain some hope with Prins coming to life in the second part of the first half as well as Pop is still Pop (fearless), Schroll is still energy personified, and Big C is still growing in confidence. I think the Sisters will continue to grow and their best is yet to come. I just need to excercies patience.
Whether you think you can or think you can't;
you are right. Henry Ford