Down one of its best shooters and an all-American forward, Iowa State’s offense didn’t have the traction to get by Texas on Wednesday and suffered one of its largest losses in recent memory.
The Longhorns took advantage of the absence of Ashley and Aubrey Joens, completing a 66-48 victory that felt clinched before the fourth quarter even started.
Fennelly had this to say in his postgame press conference on the absence of the two starters:
He added that the status for each of them playing in the next game (Sunday vs. Baylor) is still up in the air.
“I don’t know. The medical staff will let me know. Right now I would expect them back, but that’s not my call. We have the best medical staff in the country. Whatever they say to do, that’s what we’re going to do.”
The Cyclones finished the game shooting 12-43 from the field, just 27 percent, on the night and failed to make a 3-pointer in the second half.
Anything that could have gone wrong did go wrong.
“We’ve got to score more,” Fennelly said. “Offensively, I think we did okay. When you look at just tonight’s game, you’ve got to find people to score that aren’t Emily Ryan or Lexi Donarski. We had a lot of minutes with not a lot of production. I think that was the disappointing part for me.”
Ryan scored 19 points on the night but had seven turnovers in 37 minutes on the floor. Donarski tallied 14 points, 11 of which came in the first half.
Once Texas started the third quarter on a 7-0 run, things only got harder for the Cyclones.
The loss is Iowa State’s first in Big 12 play through six games in the conference this season, dropping its overall mark to 16-2.
It’s a large differential in the final score, certainly one this team may not face again for the rest of the season, but that’s all on the condition that its five starters are available.
On Wednesday, they weren’t.
Iowa State will face another test on Sunday when it travels to Waco to face No. 15 Baylor.