Head coach Bill Fennelly calls out to the Cyclones at the Oklahoma game on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. Photo by: Lani Tons
AMES — In many ways, Iowa State’s 82-57 win over Oklahoma State on Saturday differed from other home games the team has played this season.
Instead of its traditional white, cardinal and gold uniforms, Iowa State played in pink trim.
Senior Bridget Carleton played in front of 50 family and friends that traveled from Ontario in a bus to see her play.
The crowd of 10,386 was one of the biggest Hilton Coliseum has seen all season.
Amid all of the unique things going on in Hilton on Saturday, one thing remained constant — a dominant win on the home court.
“We were just locked in and focused,” senior Alexa Middleton said. “There were some times where we didn’t do our best, but overall we played really strong.”
With the victory, Iowa State improved to 9-4 in Big 12 play and 15-1 at Hilton.
It was a strong performance for the team in comparison to the loss it took on Wednesday when it was downed by TCU in Fort Worth.
The Cyclones had beaten the Lady Frogs by 38 points in the pair of teams’ first matchups before dropping the game on Wednesday that they were supposed to win.
That message seemed to be heard loud and clear.
Iowa State fell behind early thanks to some hot shooting from the Cowgirls, but eventually pulled away for the 22-point victory.
“Learning from our loss on Wednesday, we all came in with a different mentality [today],” Scott said. “Every game is equally important as the next,” sophomore Kristin Scott said. “Going into the final few [games] we have to keep that mentality.”
Scott finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, completing her fifth double-double of the season for the team.
The only one to upstage her on Saturday was Carleton, who finished the game with 24 points in front of a big, Canadian cheering section.
Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly talked about the connection that Iowa State has with Carleton’s hometown at length.
“It’s the best,” Fennelly said. “It is so cool when they are here and they love everything about it. The thing about it is, is that they’re obviously here for [Carleton], but they’re holding up signs for everybody. They are Iowa State fans. We (as in Ames and Chatham, Ontario, Canada) will be connected forever.”
As the season pushes on, the Cyclones are focused on finishing in the upper half of the Big 12 standings so that they can put themselves in a good spot going into March.
Losses like the one it took to TCU can’t reccur, as the team is tied for third in the standings with tough matchups against No. 1 Baylor on the road and with No. 15 Texas still to come in the final five games of the regular season.
“We talk about it,” Fennelly said. “It’s not a secret. The biggest thing that we’re trying to say is that they’ve worked really hard to have a chance to do some fun things. Now you’ve got to finish it.”
Iowa State will return to the court on Wednesday to take on Oklahoma on the road before returning to Hilton to face No. 1 Baylor a week from today.
|Big 12 Women’s Basketball Standings|