Senior guard Seanna Johnson scored a career-high of 33 points at the game against Northern Illinois on Sunday, Dec. 11, at Hilton Coliseum. Johnson moved to the 16th spot on the career scoring chart. Credit: Lani Tons
AMES — Iowa State (8-2) entered Sunday’s game against Delaware State (1-8) as the only women’s basketball team in the Big 12 with three players among the league’s top 10 scorers.
In the 88-57 win over the Hornets, the Cyclones’ “Big Three” — Seanna Johnson, Bridget Carleton and Jadda Buckley — continued their hot start to the season. The trio combined to score 57 of Iowa State’s points and dominated the game from start to finish.
Carleton, who finished with 18 points, kicked the game off with four-straight 3-pointers then Johnson put together a dominant performance that helped her continue to climb the Iowa State record charts. Johnson, who was making her 100th career start, scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, recording her 29th career double-double, which moves her into a tie for fourth all-time in program history.
She also passed Jayme Olson for fifth in career rebounds in program history.
“Unfortunately, it seems to be kind of who we are right now is three people doing most of the scoring,” Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said. “Obviously, they’re all three very talented players. All of them have the capability of putting up big numbers, but as I keep saying, we’ve got to get some other people involved. We’ve got to score the ball on the block a little bit better, but that’s just something we’ll keep working on.”
Buckley added 18 points, while going 8-of-8 from the charity stripe, dished out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds. The Big 12’s assists leader has recorded at least five assists in eight of the Cyclones’ 10 games this season.
An ability to share the ball has been one of Iowa State’s biggest strengths so far this season. That trend continued on Sunday as Fennelly’s squad assisted on 24-of-27 (89 percent) of their made field goals.
“We have a lot of people that can handle the ball,” Fennelly said. “Offensively, we have a lot of skilled kids that understand who they’re playing with. I think Jadda, Seanna, Bridget, especially are really good at knowing who can do what when. TeeTee (Starks) is pretty good at that too. I think if we would’ve made anywhere near the open shots that we had, Jadda could’ve had a Russell Westbrook 22 assists day. It was crazy there for awhile, but we wanted to share the ball and certainly today we had a lot of kids that we impacted and did something in the assists column.”
Iowa State will play once more before the Christmas break when Sacred Heart visits Hilton Coliseum on Wednesday (7 p.m. on Cyclones.tv). That game will be the Cyclones’ final test before kicking off Big 12 play with a road trip to take on Oklahoma State on Dec. 29.
“For us to be successful it’s attention to detail things,” Fennelly said when asked where his team needs to improve before that game in Stillwater. “Hopefully, we’ve got one more non-conference game to do that. Historically, when we’ve been good, we’ve been scouting report good and basketball good. Sometimes, those two things really go together.”
Konate’s Iowa State career over
Fennelly announced after the game 6-foot-4 true freshman forward Aliyah Konate’s Iowa State career is over before it really started. The native of Germany was expected to miss all of this season due to a back injury, but the Iowa State medical staff decided this week it wouldn’t be possible for her to play for the Cyclones at all.
She’s gone home for Christmas and will return for class in the spring before any final decisions are made about her future as a student at Iowa State.