Iowa State junior guard Emily Durr runs past Oklahoma sophomore forward Ijeoma Odimgbe at the basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. Photo by: Lani Tons
Everyone misses shots in basketball. It’s the nature game.
At times, it was frustrating for Bill Fennelly to watch his team shoot the ball in their 72-69 win over the TCU Horned Frogs in Hilton Coliseum.
Periodically, the Cyclones couldn’t buy a bucket, especially in the first and fourth quarters. On the night, Iowa State shot 27.9 percent from the floor.
“I sure as hell doubt it,” Iowa State’s head coach said when asked if he has ever won a game when his team shot less than 28 percent from the floor. “It was frustrating because we weren’t turning the ball over, we had 11 turnovers. We had 41 field goal attempts at halftime, which is ridiculous for us, (the shots) weren’t going in.”
After the first 10 minutes of play, Iowa State was down 22-8 and hitting 13.6 percent of their shots. Fennelly stated that the Cyclones probably should have been down more.
Lucky for Iowa State, they finally made some shots in the second-quarter and entered halftime down 37-34.
“The car was running out of gas,” Fennelly said. “We had to push it to the locker room but we weren’t knocked out yet.”
While Iowa State’s shooting came alive during the middle of the game, two of the Cyclones’ “Big Three” (Jadda Buckley and Seanna Johnson) were non-existent throughout the entire 40 minutes. Buckley and Johnson shot a combined 3-of-20 from the field, with the latter going 1-of-10.
Despite both athletes shooting poorly, they still chipped in eight and nine points respectively. However, Johnson provided a big contribution on the glass as she grabbed 19 rebounds.
“That is the kind of player she is,” Fennelly said on Johnson’s 19 rebounds. “When you look at it, most young people, if you are 1-of-10, you shut it down for the day. It’s not my day, I’m going to find a reason not to compete. For her to do that, it some huge free throws down the stretch, but that’s a kid who gets it.”
While, Buckley and Johnson didn’t add much to the point total, the Cyclones’ got a massive contribution from Emily Durr, who finished with 16 points.
According to Carleton, Durr was the reason why Iowa State got back into the game, as she scored five early second quarter points.
So how does a team win a game despite poorly shooting from the floor? It’s simple — free throws.
TCU plays aggressive defensively. With that knowledge, Fennelly stressed to his team the importance of getting the free throw line during practice.
The message was heard loud and clear as the Cyclones went 27-of-29 from the charity stripe.
“I will give credit to Bridget on this one,” Durr said on how Iowa State got to the free throw line early and often. “(Carleton) started taking it to the basket. She knew shots weren’t falling. So it was key for her to get going. Seanna drove it very well. I looked up and (TCU) had five fouls quick, so you have to attack them when you see they have five fouls, to get into the bonus.”
Carleton and Johnson combined to go 17-of-18 from the free throw line.
According to Fennelly, it’s a credit to his team’s effort for them to achieve just its third conference win of the season.
“It’s one of the games we haven’t had all year,” Fennelly said. “The ball bounced our way. The magic was in the building today.”