A fast start by the ladies in red. A three by Nikki and an offensive put back by Hal and the ladies were off and running. Hal was really working hard on both ends. The defensive intensity by the ladies was high. Not giving up open looks and being smart. Jadda made a great steal and was smart in how she dodged the defense to score. Three and a half minutes in and the score was 12-2 after Seanna hit a big three. The team was rolling and OSU called TO.

Wow…the officials are from the NBA. They gave OSU a continuation call which was their first points in nearly 4 minutes. Our ball handling and defense got a little careless after that timeout. We started fouling as OSU drove the lane and some of our passing wasn’t well executed. We were allowing OSU to creep back in and it was 12-6 at the 15 minute mark. A nice drive my Nikki and another of her missed layups was followed by yet another OSU drive and it was 12-8. ISU has not gone scoreless for 2 minutes. We were looking rattled on offense and it was carrying over to the defensive side of things. We continued to miss and OSU continued to score inside as they were getting ALL of the rebounds. 12-10 OSU as ISU hasn’t scored in nearly four minutes. Our offense has gone stone cold. After nearly 6 minutes of zero scoring…the entire time since the OSU timeout…OSU tied the game at 12 and then followed another miss with a score to take the lead. OSU was on a 12-0 run and something needs to happen and fast. Buckley finally ended the scoring drought at the line and hit a pair to knot the score at 14. Since that timeout OSU had hit every shot but one and all were inside.

I’ll be blunt. This looked like the offense while the ladies were losing game after game. Tentetive and not aggressive. ISU hadn’t hit a field goal in 7.5 minutes until Hal made a short jumper. It seems as if Hal has decided to take things onto her shoulders. The next possession put her on the line and she tied the score at 18. The defense is the key here. Step up and the offense will come. The defensive rebounding is really lacking. When OSU is missing they are getting offensive boards. Nikki would put the ladies in the lead again with a long trey. The guards started to get more aggressive again driving the lane. Hal was cold from outside. She had two wide open looks that clanked, but man Nikki wasn’t. Another trey and the lead was 24-20 with five to go. Nikki would nail another trey and get fouled in the process. Hits the harm and it was 28-22 with 4:40 to play. A little side note…Hadda is really flying around out there. I like the activity.

OSU would cut into the lead after a Jadda turnover going full court zipping through our players like pylons. What I liked about our offense was the movement. The ladies were slashing and constantly moving. This was keeping OSU moving and giving us opportunities to score or get fouled. A pari of Jadda free throws and it was an 8 point lead with two to go. Seanna picked up two sneaky charges during all of this. OSU nailed a trey and Seanna matched it. Coach Fen called a timeout with 17 to play after OSU scored and the Sisters holding a 7 point lead. Jadda would turn the ball over and at the half it was 37-30 Iowa State.

The ladies came out about as flat as possible and some turnovers would allow OSU to start the second half on a 9-0 run over the first 3 minutes. Everything was coming apart at the seams right now. A nice dish by Hal to Seanna would knot the score at 39. Nikki would miss another easy layup after a nice drive but Seanna would knot the score up on the next possession. It was back and forth, back and forth, but the ladies kept making mistakes. If it wasn’t a turnover it was a foul or giving up the open look. A free throw by OSU would extend their lead to 44-41at the 15 minute mark. Of course on the miss Brynn fouled. Her third. OSU converted and it was 46-41. Sigh…

Nikki had two straight turnovers. The team seemed to playing a bit panicked, a bit out of sorts. Seven minutes in and they had four points for the half. Another quick miss by ISU and OSU again scored. The lead was 7 with 12 to play. ISU has been outscored 18-4 in the half. Its not as if we aren’t getting looks, but turnovers and just plain misses are killing us. A perfect example was a nice drive by Jadda with a clean look and she missed. The shots just weren’t falling. On the other end OSU just wasn’t missing. They were getting in close and scoring a lot of points in the paint.

Some good ball movement led to a dish to Hal who would finally hit a three. The game was back to two but Seanna got the ball stolen on a OSU miss and OSU would score. A pair of free throws by Hal (scored the last 9 points by the way) again made it two. Brynn would tie it up on a nice drive. OSU would retake the lead and with 8 to pay it was 54-52. Then the offense would hit a bit of a funk and OSU would creep out to a 58-52 lead with six to play. Three minutes have gone by without a basket. Too many droughts in this game. The second half has been a real struggle.

A big trey by OSU with the shot clock expiring would extend that OSU lead to seven with five to play. In the meantime we continued to miss. Hal would end a 5 minute drought to pull the ladies within 5 with just over three to play. The defense just had to step up. Nikki would hit a one of two free throws to cut the lead to six at 63-57. Two missed treys by our ladies and OSU would re-extend the lead at the line. Two minutes to play and the lead was looming large at eight points. The offense was struggling mightily and OSU was smelling blood in the water. ISU’s shooting was so cold that they had only hit 1 of their last 13 attempts. The fouls would put OSU on the line and they would begin to ice this thing there. All of our shots seemed to be coming up short. Tired legs? You wouldn’t think so, but here we are.

OSU would continue to make just enough free throws to put the game away and ISU just kept right on missing (1-17 to end the game). Final was OSU 67-57. Count it…ISU scored 20 points the entire second half. That’s not just ugly folks. That is coyote ugly.

In essence we say the two ISU teams of this year all in one game. The first half was more the team that won 20 games. The second half was the team that couldn’t buy a basket and lost 10.

POG - Hal has to get this one. She really battled today although her three point shot was pretty much missing in action. Seanna was a close second as she also fought this entire game.

The difference? You make your open shots you win the game. 20 points in a half won’t do anything except give you another loss. No field goals in the final 4 minutes of the game. Having all those turnovers…many unforced just kills any thin chance you have.

The guards are where we live and die this year. Nikki was a picture of this team. Hot as heck in the first half and cold as ice in the second. 14 points total but 6 turnovers to 1 assist. That won’t cut it. Jadda 8 points, Seanna 7. Brynn 7 and Kidd 0. Unfortunately almost ALL of those points came in the first half.

Great start to the game, good finish to the first half, but that’s where things just derailed. .Next up is an NCAA game at home. ISU will be a low seed (probably a 9-10) and that means a tough first and second round. Fortunately the team can go home and work on fixing some things. Get the legs under them. That’s the only positive I can find in this right now.