After losing its first true road game of the season to South Dakota, the Iowa State women’s basketball team had to bounce back in a big way to beat SEC foe Arkansas.
Now, after losing to Iowa in the final seconds on Wednesday, the Cyclones find themselves in a similar spot.
Iowa State will take on the 2-6 North Dakota Fighting Hawks on Sunday at Hilton Coliseum in the team’s only game for the week, looking to get back on track following a road loss again.
“I thought we played our guts out [against Iowa],” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “Iowa played a little better, but it’s time to move on to North Dakota.”
While the Cyclones will be trying to bounce back from the loss, one player in particular looks to get back into the swing of things.
Sunday’s game features a chance for Iowa City native Ashley Joens to rebound from a rough, uncharacteristic shooting performance against Iowa.
Joens shot 1-of-10 from the field and missed six 3-pointers in the team’s three-point loss to the Hawks.
“[I’m] always excited for the next game,” Joens said.”That’s an every game thing. I just go out and play.”
That’s a mindset coaches and other players on the team will preach about Joens. There is nearly nothing that will distract her from just playing her game.
Following the North Dakota game, for the Cyclones, is another tough matchup with No. 21 Drake.
Iowa State, who hasn’t lost at Hilton this season, will be making sure they don’t overlook UND.
“It has to be one game at a time,” senior Bridget Carleton said. “North Dakota has been in some close games and they’re going to be a good team. We’ve got to be excited to play in Hilton again, obviously. We don’t want to lose at home and I think that’s our mindset going forward.”
The Fighting Hawks hosted their first home game of the season Friday in a loss to Milwaukee, but with seven of their eight games being played on the road, it’s no secret the team is comfortable with playing away from home.
North Dakota is led by senior and Fargo native Lexi Klabo, who is averaging 22.1 points per game along with 9.6 rebounds for her team.
“[Klabo] can really score,” Fennelly said. “Any time you play a kid that can score [like that] at that level, you’d better be locked in and not let her go crazy. That’s always good for our team to have a challenge to focus on defensively. I think when we have that, we seem to be more locked in.”
Fennelly said on Sunday he will be looking for Iowa State’s offensive rebounding to get better.
The team currently averages 11.25 per game.
“Of all the things we have done well, the offensive rebounding has been poor, and that has got to get better.”
Iowa State and North Dakota will tip off from Hilton at noon on Sunday with the game being televised on Cyclones.tv.