Women's Basketball

WBB: Team play, passion helps Iowa State power over OSU in absence of Fennelly

Iowa State played one of its most complete games of the season at Hilton Coliseum Wednesday, in a 66-58 win over Oklahoma State, but it wasn’t in the way fans might expect.

Head coach Bill Fennelly wasn’t on the bench coaching the team, after his mother, Carol, passed away earlier this week.

The Cyclones stepped up in his absence.

“There was (some emotion),” associate coach Jodi Steyer said. “We wanted to make sure we got done what we needed to do for him. I think it was more of a relief that we were able to do that.”

This team didn’t want to let its coach down, and may have came together a bit extra on a snowy evening in Ames.

The coaching staff was able to connect over the phone with Fennelly, following a conference win that puts them in a tie for second in the season standings.

“We were just talking to him as a staff and that was pretty emotional,” Steyer said. “They couldn’t be more happy to at least express to him what he means to them.”

“It was kind of hard. He told us how proud he was and he was getting pretty emotional. To be honest, we didn’t get to go very much further than that. I know it’s been a tough few weeks and few months for them. I just couldn’t be more happy to not screw this thing up while he’s gone and let him see this team play for him.”

Playing a team that brought some physicality throughout the night is something Iowa State is familiar with, as it saw in its previous game in a loss to Texas.

On Wednesday, they responded to it almost as well as this group ever has.

“We’re still trying to find that ‘pretty’ game and that great shooting game and everything,” Steyer said. “But, I thought the passion – I thought every single person was engaged on the bench, in the locker room… and the special thing when I say that is if you look at the stat sheet, every player that stepped on the floor had a huge game for us.”

Iowa State didn’t flinch during the game when OSU hit eight-straight shots to take a six-point lead in the first quarter, nor when trailing later in the third.

Instead, behind six players that tallied more than nine points in the game and gritty plays from the other pair out of the eight that stepped on the floor, the Cyclones found another Big 12 victory.

The win makes Iowa State 12-4 on the season and 4-2 through a third of the Big 12’s 18-game slate.

The Cyclones will return to the court Saturday to take on Kansas with an undefeated home record on the line. The game is slated to tip off at 5:00 p.m. on ESPN+.

Big 12 WBB Standings
Following games Wed. January 18
1. Oklahoma, 5-1
2. Iowa State, 4-2
2. Texas, 4-2
2. Baylor, 4-2
5. Kansas, 3-3
5. Oklahoma State, 3-3
5. West Virginia, 3-3
5. Texas Tech, 3-3
9. Kansas State, 1-5
10. TCU, 0-6