AMES — The Iowa State women’s basketball team is in Stillwater, Okla. tonight with hopes of upsetting No. 19 Oklahoma State Cowboys (14-4, 5-2) (8 P.M. on FSSW). The Cyclones haven’t knocked off the Cowboys in Stillwater since 201 and Oklahoma State has been a perfect 11-0 this season at home.
In what has been a rocky season so far, head coach Bill Fennelly reiterated that the focus must be on improving at what you can each and everyday.
“I realize that everyone outside of my office is consumed by winning and losing but for us, it’s about doing things the right way, preparing the right way, and doing the things that Iowa State should be doing on a daily basis,” Fennelly said. “Now obviously, for us, [that] translates to, are we going to score?”
Junior Bridget Carleton, Iowa State’s most prolific scorer, relayed the same message as her coach.
“I think we just have to control what we can control, learn what we can from past games, and be detailed in scouting report,” said Carleton.
Coming off an 11 point performance in Saturday night’s loss to West Virginia, Carleton understands that a flashy box score isn’t the only thing she can give her team. Team trainer Denise O’Mara recently told Carleton that she now has to wear knee pads due to the amount of times she’s ended up on the ground to dive for loose balls.
“My mom jokes all the time that I’m on the floor probably 80 percent of the game,” Carleton said. “If I have to dive on the floor, I will. If I have to take a charge, I will. I guess that’s my style.”
That same mindset is something that ISU has had all season long, never quitting and playing tight defense against some of the best offenses in the Big 12. But without more scoring on the offensive end, it could be the same result for these Cyclones, who are currently shooting only 38 percent from the floor as a team.
Although she is ineligible to play this year, one player that should solve some of the offensive issues this upcoming year is transfer Alexa Middleton out of Tennessee. Middleton should fit in seamlessly with the Iowa State style of play, as she led her team with 42 3-pointers as a junior with the Volunteers.
Fennelly has high praise for the senior transfer, crediting her ability to assimilate herself quickly into the team and working hard to help out the scout team. One example of that was Middleton working on her left hand to replicate the play of Oklahoma State guard Loryn Goodwin, who’s currently averaging an impressive 20.9 points per game.
Goodwin forms a near unstoppable duo with center Kaylee Jensen, who has a history of putting up points against the Cyclones.
Although it’s going to be a challenge on the road, Fennelly expressed how playing away from home serves as a reminder to how amazing playing at Hilton is.
“We coach at the best place in the country,” Fennelly said. “There’s no place like this, ever. When you go on the road, you get a greater feeling for how lucky it is to play and coach at Hilton Coliseum, and to have the fans that we have.”
– Kristen Scott missed practice Tuesday, and is questionable for Wednesday’s matchup.