I don't know why, but the first lines of Olivia Newton John's "Physical" ran through my mind as I headed home from one ugly basketball game tonight. Notice to all Big-12 teams...one of the best unkept secrets is how to beat Iowa State...get physical. It's the ATM formula. If you have a bench, then just beat the crap out of our players and see what the officials will let you get away with. This is the strategy employed by Mizzou tonight. It nearly worked. I was thinking of how do write this "thing" up tonight. Then I remembered a movie called, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." It fit so here goes. The good... ISU showed resiliency tonight. It seemed like they would never get over the hole their poor play and Mizzou's hot shooting got them into. Yet, they found a way. As with many ISU wins it was gritty defense and a team that came out with determination in the second half. It wasn't easy and took them nearly 38 minutes to accomplish...but I hope they learned they can come back. Turnovers. There were only 11 of them. The guards did a great job of taking care of the ball overall. Rebounding. After trailing on the boards for 3/4s of the game AND giving Mizzou numerous second chances in the first half the ladies finally got serious and ended up out-rebounding the Tigers 48-36. At one point it was Tigers 35, ISU 34. Handling the pressure. Mizzou started the game with a full court press and employed it throughout. Our ladies handled it with relative ease. The crowd. Not as big as Saturday but this group was loud. Definitely contributed to some key Mizzou mistakes late in the game. They got rattled. Overtime play. ISU pretty much skunked Mizzou in the OT period. They had 3 players fouled out and even though we didn't start fast, we outscored them 9-2 (the two came at the buzzer). That was a "put your foot on their throat and squeeze" moment. PS...the refs were NOT good. Keep looking... Short list on the good so let's get on with...the Bad... Shooting. We couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a bulldozer for much of the game. After having a great game against the Sooners, Loz was short on nearly every shot she took tonight going 0-11 from the field. Our perimeter players went a combined 9 of 39 from the field for a whopping 23%. They were held to 2 made shots for the first 10 minutes of the game! I was worried this would be a repeat of the loss to ATM and the first half was nearly identical. The 23 scored points are the second lowest amount in Bill Fennelly history. It was that bad. From the field? 29%. From 3? 26%. Free throws? 64%. That's bad bordering on ugly. Defensive gafs. On several occasions the ladies seemed confused on defense. They weren't talking and didn't switch properly. There were too many cases of a Tiger being left unattended under the basket for an easy layup or free at the three point line for an uncontested three. PS. The refs weren't bad. They weren't good enough to be considered bad. Keep looking... The Ugly. The game. It was ugly. 30 fouls by Mizzou and those were only the ones called. There easily could have been 50 if the officials had at least been at the "bad" level. They weren't. This game was painful to watch. The halftime sponsor on TV (a buddy texted me this) was aptly named "minor wreck express." It described what we watched to a "t." Free throw shooting. You know I harp on this one the most. As good as it has been lately...tonight it nearly cost them the game. With all the fouls on Mizzou we ended up shooting 39, yes THIRTY NINE free throws. We hit 75% and we walk away in this one. Instead the ladies only made 64% (25) including a bunch of missed front ends on one and ones. There were chances to tie. Miss. There were chances to take the lead. Miss. There was a chance at the end of the game to hit one free throw that would have iced it in regulation. Miss. Pop alone shot 24 of the free throws and missed 9 of them including front ends and that late game icing one. Moody was 1-3 and Big C an uncharacteristic 2-4. The officials. These people should be banned from the game. I don't usually rant about officials and you would think having 30 fouls called on Mizzou would be enough. No. These three were lost. They missed so many 3 second calls. The only fouls seemed to be ones where three ladies could have been called at one time. There were muggings and the police weren't allowed in the building. These three officials give Big 12 officials a bad name...that's saying something. Well, that's the up and downside to this one. The ladies fought back tonight and scrapped out a win. It seemed time would run out in regulation and they stepped up the defense, the crowd got loud and Mizzou caved. The ladies did just enough to win, but more importantly, they showed themselves that they can come back even while playing so horribly. Everyone reading this needs to understand, Mizzou has been playing great since halftime of the previous ISU game. They lost by 4 to ATM and OU. They beat KU. They were on a roll. Sometimes you just get lucky and I think a little of that luck was on our side tonight. The result? ISU 66, Mizzou 59. Player of the game? Still have to give it to Pop even with all those missed free throws. Another double-double in the books with 25 points and 16 boards. In the second half she was monstrously physical. Prins did an overall nice job of stepping in during Pop's foul trouble. She pulled in 7 boards and scored 10 points. All very much needed! Clutch shots? Have to give it to Big C for a couple of her three's and Cole for her only two free throws. Critical. Clutch. Clinchers.