AMES — When the Iowa State women’s basketball team (7-2) takes the floor on Monday night for its first game in the 2014 Cyclone Challenge, the Cyclones will be without sophomore guard Jadda Buckley for the third consecutive game.
Buckley recently sustained a “stress injury” to her right foot and has not played since scoring 25 points against in-state rival Iowa on Dec. 11. Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly had hoped Buckley would be back for the tournament before Big 12 play starts on Saturday, but there just wasn’t enough improvement.
“Obviously it hasn’t progressed like we had hoped,” Fennelly said. “She might dress for the game if the doctor releases her but she will not play.”
Buckley had averaged 9.7 points per game before her injury and was coming off one of the best performances of her career against the Hawkeyes. While the Cyclones will continue to miss Buckley’s production, they are confident that they will have other players pick up the slack.
“It’s a missing piece for our puzzle,” said sophomore guard Seanna Johnson. “But we have others that will step up.”
The Cyclones that are on the floor Monday will take on Howard (1-11) at 7:30 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. The winner will take on the winner of Monday’s first game game between UC-Riverside (7-4) and Brown (3-7) on Tuesday night at 7:30, while the losers will play at 5.
With Big 12 play looming on Saturday vs. Kansas State (1 p.m.), these two games will be important for the Cyclones to get back into the swing of things.
“I’m glad we get a chance to play a couple games before the Big 12 starts,” Fennelly said. “This tournament’s been good for us in a lot of ways. It’s a great way to showcase our program to a lot of different teams across the country. Good chance for our team to get out and play, and practice, and get back into basketball mode.”