The Iowa State women’s basketball team opened conference play at Oklahoma State and the result wasn’t favorable to the cardinal and gold, losing 71-59.
The Cyclones led for the majority of the game though. They entered the fourth quarter with a six-point lead. However, Oklahoma State’s Kaylee Jensen was too much for Iowa State down the stretch. The junior totaled 20 of her 28 points during the second half. Jensen also claimed 11 rebounds.
This lost puts the Cyclones in a quick 0-1 in the Big 12 and 9-3 on the season.
It’s just the opening conference game. Iowa State can bounce back and finish high in the Big 12 rankings. But here are three lessons that were learned in the Cyclones’ loss to Cowgirls.
Lesson No. 1: Iowa State will rely heavily on Jadda Buckley, Bridget Carleton and Seanna Johnson
Heading into this game, Iowa State’s “Big 3” had accounted for 58 percent of the Cyclones total points on the season. Against Oklahoma State, Buckley, Carleton and Johnson shouldered the load once again as the trio scored 40 of the Cyclones’ 59 points. That’s 67.7 percent. That means the other six players contributed 5.4 percent of Iowa State’s points each. Buckley, Carleton and Johnson were a combined 15-for-43 from the field.
That type of shooting performance from those three did not benefit Iowa State’s chances to win.
If this was the outing Iowa State received from Buckley, Carleton and Johnson against the likes of Arkansas State and Delaware State, the Cyclones probably would have been okay and won, but this the Big 12.
Lesson No. 2: Rebounding will doom the Cyclones
Head coach Bill Fennelly has made it abundantly clear that Iowa State needs to rebound heading into its’ Big 12 schedule.
Against the Cowgirls, Iowa State was outrebounded, 44-30. But it was the offensive rebounds by Oklahoma State that ultimately cost Fennelly’s team the game. The Cowgirls grabbed 12 offensive boards, resulting in 14 second chance points. If the Cyclones could have limited the number of offensive grabs Oklahoma State claimed, the outcome could have been different.
Lesson No. 3: Iowa State need solid contributions out of at least two role players per game
This lesson is connected to No. 1.
Iowa State’s “Big 3” did the majority of the scoring against Oklahoma State. Despite Buckley, Carleton and Johnson leading the charge, the Cyclones got a strong contribution out of forward Heather Bowe.
The senior tallied 11 points for the cardinal and gold while shooting 5-of-8 from the field. While that Bowe’s performance was admirable, it wasn’t enough to help he “Big 3” and Iowa State to claim a conference victory.
Emily Durr, Meredith Burkhall, TeeTee Starks, Nia Washington and Claire Ricketts all saw time against the Cowgirls. Those five players totaled a combine eight points.
If Iowa State wants to succeed in league play this season, it will need some sort of combination of Durr, Burkhall, Bowe, Starks or Washington to chip 16-20 points per game.
Iowa State has proven that when its shooting lights out like it did through the first 30 minutes against Oklahoma State, it can compete with anyone in the country. However, when the Cyclones go cold like they did during the fourth quarter, things can go south in a hurry.
The Cyclones will return home to play their next conference game on against the Texas Longhorns at noon in Hilton Coliseum.