Women's Basketball

WBB: Cyclones’ loss at Oklahoma State turns up the pressure

Iowa State suffered its sixth loss of the Big 12 season on Wednesday night to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, surrendering third place in the standings.

It’s not ideal to lose any game in late-February, but in a matchup with a program that the team has beaten in 10 of its last 12 meetings, it turns on the pressure the rest of the way.

“We missed a lot of layups tonight and that was probably the biggest difference maker,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said on the Cyclone Radio Network. “Credit to (OSU) for making plays, but missed shots on key plays hurt us.”

Iowa State never found its rhythm while it was in an optimal position to strike on Wednesday.

There were multiple moments where the Cyclones made things click and put together some runs. However, once the game got close, Oklahoma State always seemed to have an answer.

“Yeah, they did,” Fennelly said. “Oklahoma State hit some really tough shots. We came out of (the halftime break) and then it’s a back-and-fourth game the rest of the way. That’s just the way it goes (in the Big 12).”

Ashley Joens put up 20 points for the Cyclones to lead the team, but it came on 6-of-17 shooting.

Meanwhile, Morgan Kane earned a 16-point, 7-rebound performance in what was a positive game towards the upcoming postseason.

It just didn’t come when the Cyclones needed it to most.

“We got enough shots, we just didn’t make it enough in key times with our key (players),” Fennelly said. “We gave up five 3’s that were scouting report mistakes by halftime. We missed eight layups in the first half. I told the girls if you take away a couple of three’s, we’re okay.”

Tonight wasn’t the night for the team to overcome it, but a path to a No. 3 seed is still out there.

The loss drops Iowa State to a 9-6 mark in conference play with three games remaining.

For the Cyclones to earn a No. 3 seed, they will need to go 3-0 the rest of the way and hope that Oklahoma State can lose a game.

So long as Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State in the final game of the season, Iowa State will hold the tiebreaker with the Cowgirls.

“We battled,” Kane said. “We came back from a pretty big deficit and we were still in this game. I just think processing it tonight – everyone is going to do that in their own way – but when we get on that plane tomorrow, we release it. We’re still in this.”

Iowa State returns to the floor at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday to face TCU. ESPN+ will have the broadcast and the game – which is the backend of a doubleheader in the arena – will serve as the annual pink-out.

Big 12 WBB Standings
1. Texas 12-3
1. Oklahoma 12-3
3. Oklahoma State 10-5
4. Iowa State 9-6
5. Baylor 8-7
6. West Virginia 7-8
7. Kansas 6-9
8. Texas Tech 5-10
8. Kansas State 5-10
10. TCU 1-14
Wednesday, February 22
Oklahoma State 73, No. 20 Iowa State 68
Kansas State 63, Kansas 45
Baylor 67, TCU 57
Texas Tech 69, West Virginia 68 (2OT)

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+)