When the Iowa State women’s basketball team (10-3, 1-1 Big 12) takes the floor on Saturday for its matchup with the No. 3 Texas Longhorns, sophomore guard Jadda Buckley will not be in the lineup for the fifth time this season. She also will miss Iowa State’s game next Tuesday in Waco, Texas against No. 5 Baylor.
Buckley sat out four games in December due to a “stress injury” in her right foot, but has played in the Cyclones’ win over Kansas State last Sunday, and their two-point loss to TCU on Wednesday.
“She’s sore. Still in a boot,” Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said on Friday. “I think this is going to go on a little bit. We’ve got to make some smart decisions.”
Buckley scored seven points in her return against Kansas State and 10 points while going 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the loss to TCU. Even before Buckley’s injury, the Cyclones were facing possibly their biggest test of the season in the Longhorns.
Texas (13-0, 2-0 Big 12) has played one of the nation’s toughest schedules and has wins over three top-10 teams, including traditional powers Stanford and Tennessee. When asked what he had seen from the Longhorns this year, Fennelly joked, “too much.”
“They are really good,” Fennelly said. “I think the thing about Texas that jumps off the page is their size is incredible and they play really, really hard. They’re third in the country and undefeated for a reason. They’re a team that could legitimately win a national championship.”
The Longhorns have two players averaging in double-figures scoring in senior forward Nneka Enemkpali, 13.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, and 6-foot-5-inch sophomore center Kelsey Lang, 12.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Texas has been one of the best teams in the nation despite the fact that possibly their best player, 6-foot-7-inch center and preseason All-American Imani McGee Stafford, has missed eight games due to an injury. She has played a total of 48 minutes in the Longhorns’ last five games.
“Imani killed us last year, she had a great game, I think she had 26 against us,” Fennelly said. “Kelsey Lang is a kid that’s really come on and played really well for them. And we already know about Nneka. They have a really good mix, and they have balance. They just keep running people at you.”
Even though the Cyclones will be without one of their best players and will be facing one of the top teams in the nation, junior guard and Sugar Land, Texas native, Kidd Blaskowsky said the team isn’t going to be intimidated by the Longhorns.
“They’re going to be strong, their going to be aggressive,” Blaskowsky said. “We’re just going to have to stick together as a team. We played them last year, we lost at their place, and then we came back and beat them at ours. They’re a beatable team but it’s going to be a matter of who wants it.”
The Cyclones will take on Texas at 11 a.m. in Hilton Coliseum on Saturday. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Network.