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    Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    What a difference location and a few days makes. The only similarity between Wednesday and Saturday was some of the weather as it was pretty miserable and slick driving home late last night after the men’s game. You have to love Saturday double headers, especially when both teams win in exciting fashion.

    One could say that the first half was ugly. It was offensive on the offensive side of the ball. But if you did, I think you would be missing out on something that happened when our post players (P&P) went to the bench early with foul trouble. The ladies were forced to use a lineup that eerily looks like players that will compose a big part of our starting lineup next year. It was all underclassmen who had to find a way to keep this team in the game when our primary scoring threats were sitting on the bench due to silly fouls. You know what? That is exactly what they did. It wasn’t pretty and it didn’t happen right away. Yet, after falling behind by around 8 points in a very low scoring first half, something happened. Something I think is very important. First, the defensive intensity never fell off. There will always be a few mistakes here and there, but the ladies played solid, in your face (but not beat you up) defense. There wasn’t anything easy for TTech and it showed. Perhaps the bigger thing that occurred was how this group settled down, handled TTech’s pressure and managed to pull the team back into the game by halftime. That was impressive.

    So, the first half was about stellar defense and a group of players being forced to find a way. They were led by Hal (who is currently my player of the year on the team) who finally appears to have everything in place to make some of the most athletic plays of anyone on the team. Prins and Pop had both gone to the bench very early with two fouls. I’ll gain mention that the officiating left much to be desired. There was considerable talk in the crowd about how Big-12 officiating has damaged women’s basketball. TTech plays defense much like ATM did. Lots of body blows, arm smacking, very physical play. And the officials, for the most part, let it happen. OK, enough griping about those zebras! Any way you look at it, out players have to be conscious of making silly fouls. Pop and Prins have both been impacted greatly by these and thanks to their teammates, they were able to sit most of the first half on the bench. Yes, we struggled at times. There were something like 12 turnovers in the first half. Yet, they found a way. Kidd played lights out. She was hustling, helping take care of running the team, and hit some critical shots. I hate mentioning names in the first half because this was a group effort. Everyone contributed. So at the half, State was only trailing 29-25. I felt good at that point and the real fun was about to start.

    The second half brought the original starting lineup to the floor and the fireworks began immediately. Pop and Prins apparently made up their minds at halftime they were going to have an impact on this game and as Johnny Orr would say, “Whooeee” man did they ever. They were both monsters on the court, demanding the ball on offense and dominating on defense. Anna was a huge presence on the defensive end and Pop seemed to be a basketball vacuum on rebounds. We ended up with 16 assists which means players were finding their teammates for open shots. One of the prettiest was a give and go between Prins and Pop. Prins fed Pop at the free throw line, cut to the hole and Pop found her for an easy layup. Beautiful. Just as important, the aggressive play led to numerous chances at the free throw line where the team got 29 chances. There were way too many misses for my preference (the team shot 72%), but the sheer quantity was a huge factor. This is where Brynn made her impact as she couldn’t hit from the floor but her hustle led to FT opps where she hit 8.

    What stood out in the second half wasn’t just the barrage of offense. It was the continued defensive pressure. TWELVE minutes into the second half, TTech had only made TWO field goals. That’s pretty impressive. Additionally, our movement and aggressive nature on offense led to two Tech players fouling out, including the first time I’ve seen a player flip off the students/band after the “left, right, left, right” chant. Hopefully Coach Curry will figure out that’s what got the students going.

    In the end, the ladies would post a very convincing 67-52 win over a scrappy TTech team and a tie-breaker in this middle clogged Big 12 standings.

    Player of the Game. This is for the entire game, not one half. It has to be Hal. She steadied the team in the first half and has been the most consistent player on the team in Big 12 play. 15 points and 10 boards and well as FOUR blocked shots (she also affected inbounds passes) is a great line.

    Pop. Seems to still be making some silly mistakes with fouls. Several I saw were slapping at the ball rather than playing solid D. She did get credited with causing two charges and was a monster in the second half. Hustle play after hustle play. Unstoppable on offense. 18 points, 9 boards and 4 assists. Her second half is picture perfect Pop play. (wow four “p’s” that’s kind of cool)

    Prins. Like Pop she had a great second half. Looked like a senior post with strong rebounds and good offense. Layups, short jumpers, and not a single 3 point attempt. She and Pop ran the middle.

    Moody. The bad news? She fouled out again. Fortunately this time it didn’t lead to a free fall with 3 minutes left in the game. Kidd’s presence sure helped. Did a nice job of leading the team and wasn’t flashy (which I think is good). Solid play and aggressive on the offensive side. When she moves to the hoop good things happen.

    Kidd. Great game for her. Unlike how she got rattled at KU, she was steady and played very well. Her 10 points and 5 boards were good, but her ball handling was critical.

    So here we are with the Sisters making a good comeback after the big loss at KU. They are in a log jam in the middle of the Big 12 at 6-4. We have the tie breaker with TTech. Kansas still has to play Baylor once and OU twice and come to Ames. TTech still has a date with Baylor, OU, KU and at OSU. You compare that to our schedule and you realize we have a slight advantage if we defend home court and play well on the road. The second half of the conference season has begun and I’m liking what I see.



  2. #2
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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    So are we going to use point forwards bringing the ball up court more to save Moody from fouls?


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    Poppens and Prins got most of the press after this game but I agree Christofferson was the foundation of this win. All she did was a double-double and STAYS ON COURT without getting into foul trouble every game. Can say the same about Williams who gets some defensive assignments yet pretty much stays out of foul trouble and plays pretty much every minute of every game.

    Dryburn will love the no three attempts by Anna! Just kidding there, Anna's shot select was pretty good and I liked a couple of those short faceup shots she made.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley View Post
    So are we going to use point forwards bringing the ball up court more to save Moody from fouls?
    Poppens dribbling was a turnover waiting to happen but didn't. She got bailed out a little on a foul call just after she got across mid-court but did decent job getting it there. Christofferson was surprisingly effective and I was impressed. She does so many things, I just didn't have backcourt dibbling on the list. Maybe took TT by surprise?



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    Hal actually played "point" quite a bit in high school. Unlike a traditional point guard like Moody, she doesn't look as comfortable bringing it up, but she is an option during a full court press like TTech was applying. Pop or Prins bringing the ball up scares the bejebbers out of me. Fortunately it took place when we had the game in hand. On a light note, it does show the continued evolution of Pop. She is an amazing story of hard work and steady improvement.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    We did get a look at nextyear late in the first half. Adding Buckley next season should help Moody out, as will Johnson for Brynn, leaving Hallie to play inside more where we need some help. Jensen sounds like she can help, but we really need a post. I just don't see Maddie stepping fully into the fray next year. I think she can continue to develop and help, but she is not the end all answer. We need a juco big girl.


    Last edited by Royalclone; 02-03-2013 at 12:06 PM.

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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    TT is not a good ballteam by any stretch so I am sure that BF knows that and wants more from them.
    Missing Bingley for sure so hope that Moody can get better at being so foulprone
    STill a win!


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    Quote Originally Posted by ARSON View Post
    TT is not a good ballteam by any stretch so I am sure that BF knows that and wants more from them.
    Missing Bingley for sure so hope that Moody can get better at being so foulprone
    STill a win!
    About time you pulled yourself over here from CR to post something!



  9. #9
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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    Quote Originally Posted by Royalclone View Post
    We did get a look at nextyear late in the first half. Adding Buckley next season should help Moody out, as will Johnson for Brynn, leaving Hallie to play inside more where we need some help. Jensen sounds like she can help, but we really need a post. I just don't see Maddie stepping fully into the fray next year. I think she can continue to develop and help, but she is not the end all answer. We need a juco big girl.
    I can't think of anyone on Bill's past teams that didn't play their freshman year that ended up being a contributor on future teams. Maybe she can be the first to establish an exception?



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxsterCy View Post
    I can't think of anyone on Bill's past teams that didn't play their freshman year that ended up being a contributor on future teams. Maybe she can be the first to establish an exception?
    Maddie's situation this year is different though. She could easily have been a redshirt due to injury or even senior depth. It sounds like Fennelly did not redshirt her so that she could potentially get some experience, based on a statement near the end of this article: Ames Tribune

    Because of her situation, it might be easy to dismiss her future potential. However, sounds like she has a great attitude, had some great stats in high school, and with enough work, she might be able to develop her body and her skills for the Big 12. Let's hope she does the work. The opportunity is there for her to take if she wants to.



  11. #11
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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    Quote Originally Posted by ARSON View Post
    TT is not a good ballteam by any stretch so I am sure that BF knows that and wants more from them.
    Sagarin has TTU with a 30 RPI and 36 SOS. They are top 50 in NCAA-like RPI rankings. They have been a surprise in their ability to win some games. Would not call them "not a good ballteam by any stretch."



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    Quote Originally Posted by Royalclone View Post
    We did get a look at nextyear late in the first half. Adding Buckley next season should help Moody out, as will Johnson for Brynn, leaving Hallie to play inside more where we need some help. Jensen sounds like she can help, but we really need a post. I just don't see Maddie stepping fully into the fray next year. I think she can continue to develop and help, but she is not the end all answer. We need a juco big girl.
    I think your analysis is right on, especially on posts. Maddie has a good ways to go and Jensen will have missed her entire senior year, so not a great deal can be expected of her initially. We have gotten good juco inside help in the past--Anderson, Ross, and Des Francis-- so it is possible.


    Last edited by Kitkat; 02-03-2013 at 03:09 PM.

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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    Quote Originally Posted by ARSON View Post
    TT is not a good ballteam by any stretch so I am sure that BF knows that and wants more from them.
    Missing Bingley for sure so hope that Moody can get better at being so foulprone
    STill a win!
    I'm not sure I agree Arson (a rarity). TTech has beaten OSU on the road, at Kansas, and at West Virginia. They have played a schedule every bit as tough as ISU.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxsterCy View Post
    I can't think of anyone on Bill's past teams that didn't play their freshman year that ended up being a contributor on future teams. Maybe she can be the first to establish an exception?
    I think Maddie was the "one per year" recruit that is a bit of a gamble on the grass roots Iowa small town blue collar player with the great attitude hard working credentials. I'll admit she hasn't shown much of anything in the few minutes she's gotten at Hilton. Given her exceptional upbeat attitude, her bleeding cardinal and gold, I'm really pulling for her, hoping she makes the needed improvements by next year. You've got to like kids like her with her positive attitude. We will need help in the middle next year.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Solid defense and strong second half key ISU win

    Thanks, Cous for the write up. When Anna and Pop went to the bench with fouls, I turned to those sitting beside me and mentioned, "well, this is next year's team for the rest of the half." At that point the game plan was just to play TT even until halftime. Although not pretty, they got the job done - Kudos to them. I thought the move to play 2-3 zone in the second half proved to be a game changer. TT didn't have an answer. I was surprised they changed back to man later in the second half, a bit before the game was decided.



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