AMES — Bill Fennelly hasn’t been getting much sleep.
The Iowa State women’s basketball team (14-7, 5-5 Big 12) is on a three game losing-streak, with two of those losses coming at home in Hilton Coliseum.
In the last two losses, the Cyclones have been outrebounded 41-27 by Oklahoma State and 45-30 by Oklahoma.
They turned the ball over 20 times in the streak-starting loss to Kansas.
It’s no wonder that zzz’s have been hard for Coach Fennelly to find.
On Saturday, the Cyclones have a chance to get this man some rest as the West Virginia Mountaineers (14-8, 4-6 Big 12) will invade Hilton Coliseum for a 6 p.m. tip.
“They had 28 offensive rebounds in their last game,” Fennelly said. “I’m not sleeping a lot anyway, but that one, that scares you.”
The Mountaineers enter the game coming off wins over Oklahoma and TCU and sit just one game back of the Cyclones for third place in the Big 12 standings.
“A team that most people picked in the top three preseason,” Fennelly said. “Got off to a tough start, but I think, maybe, their schedule was as tough as anyone in our league to start with. Kind of seems like they’ve rounded into shape a little bit and they’re playing really well.”
The Mountaineers are led by the one of the best players in the Big 12 in 6-foot-1-inch guard Bria Holmes. The junior is averaging 20 points per game and scored 30 in West Virginia’s win over TCU. Fennelly called her a first-team all-Big 12 player. She can’t help when it comes time to go to bed at night.
“It’s a tremendous challenge for our kids,” Fennelly said.
Holmes isn’t the only challenge in the WVU lineup. Senior forward Averee Fields averages 14 points and seven boards per contest. Sophomore center Lanay Montgomery has blocked 81 shots. While it’s always tough to face a shot blocker, it doesn’t change the gameplan too much for the Cyclones.
“You can’t worry about it, they’re going to block shots,” Fennelly said. “The shots they block against us they blocked against other people too.”
Bill Fennelly hasn’t been getting much sleep. OnSaturday night, his team has a chance to put that problem to rest.