Women's Basketball

WBB: Cyclones playing for postseason future against Oklahoma State

There isn’t a game on the schedule in the back half of February that will have little effect on a given team’s postseason seeding situation.

However, there isn’t one bigger for Iowa State women’s basketball until the start of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, than Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma State in Stillwater (6:30 p.m. ESPN+).

“Our metrics are good,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “We have good wins. All of that stuff is good, but obviously it could be better. We have four more opportunities to do that.”

The Cyclones, which are deadlocked with OSU in the standings at 9-5, would earn a tiebreaking win with a victory Wednesday.

It would nearly lock them in to the No. 3 seed as long as the team held serve on its home court, where its 11-1 this season.

On top of it, Iowa State is gunning to earn a spot as a top 16 overall seed, which would mean it would host the opening pair of rounds in its NCAA Tournament run.

The Cyclones have a No. 13 ranking in the NCAA’s NET ratings and have played one of the hardest schedules in the country.

“I don’t know that our kids pay attention to it, but our numbers are good,” Fennelly said. “I think our NET ranking is around 13. Our strength of schedule is third in the country.”

Although, there still on the bubble of being right around that area and maybe needing more than just one win at the Big 12 tournament.

With a two-game win-streak and all the momentum coming in, there’s opportunity to overlook for Iowa State. After all, the Cyclones have clinched avoiding a sweep against every Big 12 program in the league from here on out.

“Before the three-game losing streak (it was), ‘wow, Iowa State women’s basketball is pretty good,” Fennelly said. “During the three game losing streak, ‘they suck,’ and now we’re good again. That’s the world we live in – it’s OK… it was just kind of a week where, before that it wasn’t going our way and last week everything fell into our place.”

Iowa State is looking to continue that momentum on Wednesday.

The way to finding that may come in shooting.

“I think there are some similarities,” Fennelly said. “We shot the ball better in the two games last week than we have done (this season). Last year’s team really shot it well and then the other thing is them finding a way to win. Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw played 20 minutes Saturday. She probably hasn’t played 20 minutes combined in a month.”

Wednesday will provide another 40 minutes, or more, of data to what the answers should be or could be as to what this team’s full potential might end up looking like.

However, the only way to truly see it is when things come to fruition in March, and until then, Iowa State is just going to do what it does best.

“It’s kind of like, OK this is what we’ve got,” Fennelly said. “Let’s go find a way.”

Big 12 WBB Standings
1. Texas 12-3
1. Oklahoma 12-3
3. Iowa State 9-5
3. Oklahoma State 9-5
5. West Virginia 7-7
5. Baylor 7-7
7. Kansas 6-8
8. Texas Tech 4-10
8. Kansas State 4-10
10. TCU 1-13
Wednesday, February 22
6:30 p.m. | No. 20 Iowa State @ Oklahoma State (ESPN+)
6:30 p.m. | Kansas @ Kansas State (ESPN+)
6:30 p.m. | Baylor @ TCU (ESPN+)
7:00 p.m. | West Virginia @ Texas Tech (ESPN+)

Saturday, February 25
1:00 p.m. | No. 19 Texas @ No. 13 Oklahoma (ESPN+)
5:00 p.m. | TCU @ No. 20 Iowa State (ESPN+)
5:00 p.m. | Texas Tech @ Baylor (ESPN+)
5:00 p.m. | Kansas State @ West Virginia (ESPN+)
Sunday, February 26
2:00 p.m. | Oklahoma State @ Kansas (ESPN+)

Monday, February 27
6:00 p.m. | Baylor @ No. 19 Texas (ESPN+)
Wednesday, March 1
6:00 p.m. | Kansas State @ No. 19 Oklahoma (ESPN+)
6:00 p.m. | Oklahoma State @ West Virginia (ESPN+)
7:00 p.m. | No. 20 Iowa State @ Kansas (ESPN+)
7:00 p.m. | TCU @ Texas Tech

Saturday, March 4
1:00 p.m. | Kansas @ TCU (ESPN+)
2:00 p.m. | No. 13 Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State (ESPN+)
3:00 p.m. | Texas Tech @ No. 20 Iowa State (ESPN+)
4:00 p.m. | No. 19 Texas @ Kansas State (ESPN+)
5:00 p.m. | West Virginia @ Baylor (ESPN+)