Senior guard Seanna Johnson looks to pass the ball against UNI on Nov. 15. Johnson made 15 points, helping the Cyclones win 76-68. Credit: Lani Tons
After a gritty 76-68 win over in-state rival the UNI on Tuesday night, the Iowa State women’s basketball team will return to Hilton Coliseum to take on the Drake Bulldogs on Sunday at 6 p.m.
The hope: To avenge last season’s lost 74-70 at the Knapp Center.
If Iowa State wants to come out of Hilton with a perfect 3-0 record on Sunday, here are three things it needs to do to defeat Drake.
Drive and pass
Iowa State is about to see a defense that it normally doesn’t play against: The zone.
“It’s not something you see many teams committing to for 40 minutes,” said ISU coach Bill Fennelly said on the Bulldogs’ defense.
Kansas State is the only team in the Big 12 that consistently plays zone. UC-Santa Barbara, who Iowa State defeated in its opener, did as well and the Cyclones fared fairly well against it. The Cyclones scored 77 versus the Gauchos zone on a decent 48.4-percent shooting day.
Slow the trio of Lizzy Wendell, Caitlin Ingle and Sammie Bachrodt
The Bulldogs are almost an anti-Big 12 team when it comes to offense. They use a lot of motion and they like to score based off of their defense.
Drake’s main offensive threat is senior forward, Lizzy Wendell.
“[Lizzy] Wendell is as good of an offensive player as we will see all year, Big 12 or otherwise,” Fennelly said.
Wendell was named the Missouri Valley Preseason Player of the Year and in two games for Drake, she has shown why she was deserving of that honor. Wendell is averaging 26.5 points per game but Iowa State just can’t focus on Wendell, as Drake has two other talented players in Caitlin Ingle, which according to Fennelly has first-team all-conference potential and Sammie Bachrodt.
Ingle and Bachrodt are averaging 16.5 and 10 points, respectively.
The Cyclones will have to make sure to keep their eyes on this Drake trio if they want any chance to slow down a potent offense, as the Bulldogs are currently averaging 88 points per game.
Crash the boards
One way to slow Drake’s pace down is for the Cyclones to be on top of their rebounding game.
Getting offensive and defensive rebounds will help limit Drake’s transition game, which Fennelly is extremely high on. However, Fennelly isn’t too high on his team’s rebounding efforts on the defensive side as he called their last outing an “embarrassment.”
The good thing though for the Cyclones is that the Bulldogs are pretty weak on the glass. They have allowed 81 rebounds to their 75. And through two games for Iowa State, it has only allowed 67 boards to their 74.