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AMES — The Iowa State women’s basketball team will take on the pesky Drake Bulldogs in Hilton Coliseum on Tuesday night without its best player. During a press conference on Monday morning, head coach Bill Fennelly announced that Chelsea Poppens is "very doubtful" for Tuesday’s tussle after suffering a concussion on Friday’s win over Loyola-Marymount.
"She will be evaluated daily and like most things, it is pretty much a day-to-day thing," said Fennelly. "She will go to the doctor again today so I would say that she would be doubtful for tomorrow I guess. As soon as the doctors tell me, I will let you guys know."
Poppens has not practiced since suffering the injury. Iowa State defeated Illinois 68-50 on Saturday without Poppens in the lineup. Obviously, Poppens is a key component to Fennelly’s roster. He acknowledged that while he’s labeling her as day-to-day, you really never know when it comes to concussions.
"Concussions are very odd things," said Fennelly. "It has certainley become the medical condition that we all talk about, think about. You want to do the right things. Our medical staff will handle it perfectly. We all understand what is at stake here."
How the injury occured is easy to understand. It was simply a case of Chelsea Poppens being Chelsea Poppens. Eventually, the physicality of Poppens’ game caught up to her.
"It was a fumble and she dove on the pile," said Fennelly. "My son Billy said it looked like she was trying to recover an onside kick to win the game. The ball was loose. Most players kind of look at it and hope that somebody else picks it up and throws it to them. She dove in there."
Poppens is currently averaging 13.0 points and 9.7 rebounds per game for the 4-0 Cyclones. Drake will enter the game with a 1-3 record.