Wieben's block party energizes Iowa State
Ames, Ia. - Nicky Wieben was as good at stopping baskets as scoring them in Iowa State's 66-47 women's basketball victory against Hampton Sunday in the Cyclone Shoot-Out.
The 6-foot-4 junior blocked seven shots, one shy of Stephannie Smith's 1987 school record, to go along with scoring 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting.
"We knew that their guards were really quick and like to drive a lot, so I was able to stay in there and get a couple blocks," Wieben said.
Guard Alison Lacey led Iowa State with 19 points while forward Amanda Nisleit had eight points and 10 rebounds while playing in front of a crowd of 7,523 at Hilton Coliseum.
The Cyclones broke out to a 26-12 lead against Hampton (5-6) and stayed comfortably in front, their biggest lead being 59-31.
The victory in the three-day round-robin tournament gave Iowa State the title in the Shoot-Out and enabled the Cyclones to finish their nonconference season with an 11-2 record.
Iowa State was ranked 21st in collegerpi.com's rating percentage index going into Sunday's games. The Cyclones were 4-2 against teams in the top 100 RPI, beating No. 22 Michigan, No. 65 Iowa, No. 67 Creighton and No. 59 Bowling Green. They lost to No. 33 Vanderbilt and No. 18 Minnesota.
Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said he thinks the non-conference performance has set the Cyclones up well for the start of the rugged Big 12 season, which they will begin on Jan. 9 against ninth-ranked Oklahoma.
"You can't play important games in January, February and March if you didn't do it in November and December," Fennelly said. "To our players' credit, they've done that. I'm very proud and very pleased with what they have done.
"What happens in our league, who the heck knows? But at this point, we're probably in as good a position as we could be."
Lacey was named the Most Valuable Player of the three-day tournament and joined on the all-tournament team by Nisleit