Twister Sister Summary - Ladies fall apart in fourth in first loss

acoustimac

Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2009
5,433
4,470
113
Lamoni, IA
Talk about a game of halves. Everyone talked about ISU's offense and also North Carolina's ability to overcome big deficits. We saw both tonight.

Soares started the scoring for the sisters on a rebound two. Both teams were playing good defense and offenses were missing. One thing I saw early on was what we saw with Creighton last year, the speed of NC's guards compared to our team was very evident.
NC picked up some early fouls. As usual Kane was in early to sub for Soares and scored.
Fritz nails the first three for the sisters and things were starting to warm up. NC answered back to tie the game at 7. Early observation, with Soares out, the threat of a block also disappears. NC started finding success driving. Joens struck from deep to open a 5 point lead. M&M nailed a three to stretch the lead to 6. She looks confident today. Throughout the first half the defense was scrappy. Active hands. Good hustle and switching. ISU would go on a 12-0 run…NC was cold as ice. Just couldn't hit a shot. At the end of one ISU led 17-11.

The second quarter picked up in much the same way as the first. Efficient offense and solid defense. The sisters were dominating the boards. Bad news alert. Donarski picked up her third foul with 5 min left in the 2nd. That’s not good. She would sit for a LONG time. A questionable intentional gave ISU two freebies to extend the lead. Interestingly, Ashley was having a tough time scoring. Then something shifted. All of a sudden the sisters were fouling left and right. Allowed NC to crawl back into the game. Last two minutes were scoreless. Was this a sign of something to come? End of the second had ISU up 35-22, but the last two minutes saw NC showing some life. Something to note at this point - Soares has 12 points and 9 boards.

The third quarter saw pretty even play by both teams. NC was pushing on offense and closing. ISU early shots weren't falling. The Sisters were just sloppy on offense and all of a sudden that once 17 point lead is down to 10. Joens puts an end to it with a stop and pop to help maintain some distance. Bad news alert #2 - Soares picked up her third foul with 6:30 to go in the third. Puts two starters on the bench. ISU had managed to push the lead back to 16, but NC would hit back to back treys and it was 10 again. With Soares on the bench, NC drives and Kane is just too slow to stop them. Still, the lead hovers at 10-12. With Soares and Donarski out, our offense just stalled out. Bad news alert #3 - Fritz would pick up her third foul on a trey and the lead was down to 8 (50-42). NC is feeling it. Uncharacteristically, the sisters offensive play was just sloppy. Unforced turnovers would allow NC to score repeatedly. Ashley would temporarily stem the bleeding with a three to stretch the lead to 9 one last time. Another foul on ISU would give NC a deficit of only 8 53-45 at the end of three.

Then the wheels fell off. No, the wheels fell off, the axle broke and the gas tank burst into flames. What we saw in the fourth quarter was a complete and total dysfunctional falling apart of the sisters in pretty much every way you could imagine. As an example, the quarter started with an air ball by Diew. NC would score and score again as ISU floundered on offense. The lead was 6, then 3. A turnover would allow NC to tie the game. ISU's offense ceased to exist as a functional unit. Too much dribbling, not enough attacking and Soares has been forgotten. NC would immediately take the lead as ISU was stone cold. It was a 19-3 run by NC and a 14-0 run to start the fourth. Really, everything that was happening was about fouls and ISU missing shots. We were doing both at a rapid pace.

NC would hit another shot and go up 4 with 6:30 to go. ISU would keep misfiring on offense. No one can hit and the ball isn’t getting into Soares hands. All of a sudden it was a 6 point NC lead and a 23-3 run. Three point shooting by the sisters is abysmal

Two free throws by Soares would end the MAJOR drought. Soares is fouled again (wow…finally passing her the ball) and hits one. Lead is three. Every time we closed, NC would answer. Usually a defensive breakdown would give them an open shot. A trey by NC extends the lead to six again. And...we keep missing free throws. NC would stretch the lead to 7 and Soares would answer. Then...an air ball trey by Ashley. Soares gets blocked and NC is hanging on a 5 point lead with 2 min left. ISUs offense just kept misfiring. A big trey by M&M makes it a two point game and she then forced an offensive foul. Donarski would tie the game at 64 with FT. Could they pull this out? Nope. The next series of events would seal the game. We foul on a drive without a good switch. NC scores, Donarski fouls out and NC gets the rebound on the missed FT. A very poor decision by M&M to foul when she didn't have to essentially ended the game. Without the foul we "might" get a stop and a chance to tie. Instead the free throws give NC a four point lead. We end the game with two horrible inbounds turnovers allowing NC to ice the game at the line. In a nutshell, the fourth quarter was a disaster end to end.

Final score NC 73-64.

Observations
We saw a recipe for other teams to use against us. Fast guard play when Soares is out is one. Attacking and getting us to foul is another. In this particular game, our deep bench didn't come through outside of M&M.

Soares - great first half. Disappeared in the second. Remember the 12 and 9 at halftime? 19 and 12 were her final numbers. Four turnovers.

Joens - Ok first half with 7 points. Tried to hard at times to make things happen in the second. 18 points and 9 boards on 33% shooting.

Donarski - tough defense, but foul trouble neutralized her. Sitting on the bench will do that. Only 6 points and fouled out. Very unlike her.

Ryan - seemed out of sorts much of the second half. Too much dribbling. Perhaps not enough motion from her teammates? Only 5 points, but had 10 assists. We need more scoring here.

Fritz - Foul trouble here as well. 3 points and 0 rebounds. Seeing a trend?

The bench
The good? M&M made some positive contributions with 8 points and 2 boards. One bad turnover that contributed to the NC run.
The average or bad? Diew and Kane combined for 5 points. Kane did pull in 8 boards, but the scoring didn't help out much.

So what happened? From my viewpoint, (and I backed up and rewatched the second half) our offense forgot who it was. What worked in the first half we stopped doing in the second. Our three point shooting was horrid (9-35). We kept chucking them up instead of taking advantage of our size inside. Turnovers. 17 of the little monsters and about 40% were unforced. Fouls. It's been a while since I've seen so many players get into foul trouble. We put NC on the line for a total of 28 free throws. And they missed ten of them and still won going away. They actually had one more foul than we did (just the non-shooting variety), but unlike Iowa State, they had multiple players in double figures (ISU had two). When you have 7 other players only combine for 27 points...that will kill you every single time.

I have to give some credit to NC's defense. We saw this same thing a year ago against Creighton. Four guards on the floor who are quicker than you are. Your shots don't fall. They slice and dice you to death. And folks...NC missed a TON of wide open shots. But the second half appears to be their thing as they outscored the sisters 51-29. That's a good old fashioned, take 'em behind the woodshed butt whooping.

Now this is where coaching comes in to play. ISU will likely fall out of the top ten. That's ok. Coaches will teach lessons. The team gets better and learns from what happened. Next up...a return to the friendly confines and a tune up for the Hawks. Believe me...if our shots aren't falling from 7 out of our 9 player rotation...that game in Iowa City won't be pretty.
 

cyclone13

Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2009
2,927
621
113
I have no problem with us getting out of the top 10. This team is not perfect yet and this will be a valuable lesson for the team and the coaching staff. Give them time to work on before a high profile game vs EIU. We really need to win this one.
 

cyhobby

Member
Apr 14, 2006
35
9
8
Talk about a game of halves. Everyone talked about ISU's offense and also North Carolina's ability to overcome big deficits. We saw both tonight.

Soares started the scoring for the sisters on a rebound two. Both teams were playing good defense and offenses were missing. One thing I saw early on was what we saw with Creighton last year, the speed of NC's guards compared to our team was very evident.
NC picked up some early fouls. As usual Kane was in early to sub for Soares and scored.
Fritz nails the first three for the sisters and things were starting to warm up. NC answered back to tie the game at 7. Early observation, with Soares out, the threat of a block also disappears. NC started finding success driving. Joens struck from deep to open a 5 point lead. M&M nailed a three to stretch the lead to 6. She looks confident today. Throughout the first half the defense was scrappy. Active hands. Good hustle and switching. ISU would go on a 12-0 run…NC was cold as ice. Just couldn't hit a shot. At the end of one ISU led 17-11.

The second quarter picked up in much the same way as the first. Efficient offense and solid defense. The sisters were dominating the boards. Bad news alert. Donarski picked up her third foul with 5 min left in the 2nd. That’s not good. She would sit for a LONG time. A questionable intentional gave ISU two freebies to extend the lead. Interestingly, Ashley was having a tough time scoring. Then something shifted. All of a sudden the sisters were fouling left and right. Allowed NC to crawl back into the game. Last two minutes were scoreless. Was this a sign of something to come? End of the second had ISU up 35-22, but the last two minutes saw NC showing some life. Something to note at this point - Soares has 12 points and 9 boards.

The third quarter saw pretty even play by both teams. NC was pushing on offense and closing. ISU early shots weren't falling. The Sisters were just sloppy on offense and all of a sudden that once 17 point lead is down to 10. Joens puts an end to it with a stop and pop to help maintain some distance. Bad news alert #2 - Soares picked up her third foul with 6:30 to go in the third. Puts two starters on the bench. ISU had managed to push the lead back to 16, but NC would hit back to back treys and it was 10 again. With Soares on the bench, NC drives and Kane is just too slow to stop them. Still, the lead hovers at 10-12. With Soares and Donarski out, our offense just stalled out. Bad news alert #3 - Fritz would pick up her third foul on a trey and the lead was down to 8 (50-42). NC is feeling it. Uncharacteristically, the sisters offensive play was just sloppy. Unforced turnovers would allow NC to score repeatedly. Ashley would temporarily stem the bleeding with a three to stretch the lead to 9 one last time. Another foul on ISU would give NC a deficit of only 8 53-45 at the end of three.

Then the wheels fell off. No, the wheels fell off, the axle broke and the gas tank burst into flames. What we saw in the fourth quarter was a complete and total dysfunctional falling apart of the sisters in pretty much every way you could imagine. As an example, the quarter started with an air ball by Diew. NC would score and score again as ISU floundered on offense. The lead was 6, then 3. A turnover would allow NC to tie the game. ISU's offense ceased to exist as a functional unit. Too much dribbling, not enough attacking and Soares has been forgotten. NC would immediately take the lead as ISU was stone cold. It was a 19-3 run by NC and a 14-0 run to start the fourth. Really, everything that was happening was about fouls and ISU missing shots. We were doing both at a rapid pace.

NC would hit another shot and go up 4 with 6:30 to go. ISU would keep misfiring on offense. No one can hit and the ball isn’t getting into Soares hands. All of a sudden it was a 6 point NC lead and a 23-3 run. Three point shooting by the sisters is abysmal

Two free throws by Soares would end the MAJOR drought. Soares is fouled again (wow…finally passing her the ball) and hits one. Lead is three. Every time we closed, NC would answer. Usually a defensive breakdown would give them an open shot. A trey by NC extends the lead to six again. And...we keep missing free throws. NC would stretch the lead to 7 and Soares would answer. Then...an air ball trey by Ashley. Soares gets blocked and NC is hanging on a 5 point lead with 2 min left. ISUs offense just kept misfiring. A big trey by M&M makes it a two point game and she then forced an offensive foul. Donarski would tie the game at 64 with FT. Could they pull this out? Nope. The next series of events would seal the game. We foul on a drive without a good switch. NC scores, Donarski fouls out and NC gets the rebound on the missed FT. A very poor decision by M&M to foul when she didn't have to essentially ended the game. Without the foul we "might" get a stop and a chance to tie. Instead the free throws give NC a four point lead. We end the game with two horrible inbounds turnovers allowing NC to ice the game at the line. In a nutshell, the fourth quarter was a disaster end to end.

Final score NC 73-64.

Observations
We saw a recipe for other teams to use against us. Fast guard play when Soares is out is one. Attacking and getting us to foul is another. In this particular game, our deep bench didn't come through outside of M&M.

Soares - great first half. Disappeared in the second. Remember the 12 and 9 at halftime? 19 and 12 were her final numbers. Four turnovers.

Joens - Ok first half with 7 points. Tried to hard at times to make things happen in the second. 18 points and 9 boards on 33% shooting.

Donarski - tough defense, but foul trouble neutralized her. Sitting on the bench will do that. Only 6 points and fouled out. Very unlike her.

Ryan - seemed out of sorts much of the second half. Too much dribbling. Perhaps not enough motion from her teammates? Only 5 points, but had 10 assists. We need more scoring here.

Fritz - Foul trouble here as well. 3 points and 0 rebounds. Seeing a trend?

The bench
The good? M&M made some positive contributions with 8 points and 2 boards. One bad turnover that contributed to the NC run.
The average or bad? Diew and Kane combined for 5 points. Kane did pull in 8 boards, but the scoring didn't help out much.

So what happened? From my viewpoint, (and I backed up and rewatched the second half) our offense forgot who it was. What worked in the first half we stopped doing in the second. Our three point shooting was horrid (9-35). We kept chucking them up instead of taking advantage of our size inside. Turnovers. 17 of the little monsters and about 40% were unforced. Fouls. It's been a while since I've seen so many players get into foul trouble. We put NC on the line for a total of 28 free throws. And they missed ten of them and still won going away. They actually had one more foul than we did (just the non-shooting variety), but unlike Iowa State, they had multiple players in double figures (ISU had two). When you have 7 other players only combine for 27 points...that will kill you every single time.

I have to give some credit to NC's defense. We saw this same thing a year ago against Creighton. Four guards on the floor who are quicker than you are. Your shots don't fall. They slice and dice you to death. And folks...NC missed a TON of wide open shots. But the second half appears to be their thing as they outscored the sisters 51-29. That's a good old fashioned, take 'em behind the woodshed butt whooping.

Now this is where coaching comes in to play. ISU will likely fall out of the top ten. That's ok. Coaches will teach lessons. The team gets better and learns from what happened. Next up...a return to the friendly confines and a tune up for the Hawks. Believe me...if our shots aren't falling from 7 out of our 9 player rotation...that game in Iowa City won't be pretty.
They need to find somebody besides Diew to throw the ball in bounds!
 

farcyted

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Apr 10, 2006
492
441
63
Diew looks like her full attention is not on basketball
 

OnlyCyclones

Well-Known Member
Feb 27, 2017
1,205
1,455
113
Thought the screens at the elbow and even deeper was a great adjustment by UNC that we struggled to cope with. Seems like the first time we saw screens that deep this year. Would have liked to see us switch 1-4 on those, but that’s not a perfect solution given how #1 was eating us up no matter who was on her it seemed like.

I hope Ash is well. She hasn’t seemed 100% since Thursday.
 

BoxsterCy

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 14, 2009
39,462
33,714
113
Minnesota
I have no problem with us getting out of the top 10. This team is not perfect yet and this will be a valuable lesson for the team and the coaching staff. Give them time to work on before a high profile game vs EIU. We really need to win this one.

I think Iowa can be business as usual. Probably which team makes the threes wins. Neither team has shown they play very good defense (again). Iowa supposedly put an emphasis on that but they aren't anymore athletic and quick than last year and maybe not even as quick as we are and we aren't that athletic or quick as a team.
 

qwerty

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Apr 3, 2020
4,130
5,266
113
58
Muscatine, IA
Talk about a game of halves. Everyone talked about ISU's offense and also North Carolina's ability to overcome big deficits. We saw both tonight.

Ryan - seemed out of sorts much of the second half. Too much dribbling. Perhaps not enough motion from her teammates? Only 5 points, but had 10 assists. We need more scoring here.
I was screaming that all second half. We fell back into standing around and watching the action instead of moving and creating the action.
 

bozclone

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Nov 18, 2011
3,847
4,532
113
Indiana
I think the first half showed the potential this team has with Soares. The second have showed that we still need to work on a lot to reach our potential.
 

CyBobby

Well-Known Member
Oct 18, 2006
7,493
2,086
113
Central Iowa
I have no problem with us getting out of the top 10. This team is not perfect yet and this will be a valuable lesson for the team and the coaching staff. Give them time to work on before a high profile game vs EIU. We really need to win this one.
I AGREE this team is definitely NOT a Top Ten Team right now...
 

ISU_Guy

Well-Known Member
Jul 21, 2021
1,477
1,264
113
45
Des Moines
I think Iowa can be business as usual. Probably which team makes the threes wins. Neither team has shown they play very good defense (again). Iowa supposedly put an emphasis on that but they aren't anymore athletic and quick than last year and maybe not even as quick as we are and we aren't that athletic or quick as a team.
agreed. The two teams that are (were) fraudulent top ten teams are iowa and iowa state. (as of now) Both IMO are elite 8/sweet 16 type teams, but really depend on how they are shooting. there is nothing wrong with that by the way.. But if ISU can't make the Elite 8 / FF with all of their team back (one of the best players in the country) and the addition of a 6-6 skilled player, then I am not sure it will ever happen.

We just don't have good quick passing ability. quickness and the ability to create our own shot.
I hope they prove me wrong. Otherwise its going to be a 2 or 3 see year, etc.
 

BCClone

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Sep 4, 2011
53,644
46,789
113
Not exactly sure.
The ladies got tired. Ashley and Emily definitely were gassing at the end. Maybe when you put Soares in you give Ashley a couple minutes at least per half. I know Lexi has been the back up point so maybe that limited her break time.

Ashley has not got accustomed to SS being there. She will will drive when SS is low and has her typical 2 defenders on her so it gets plugged fast. She needs to kick it out but we also need more movement from her wings when this happens. Still too much standing and watching one player try to score.
 
  • Like
Reactions: acoustimac

Royalclone

Well-Known Member
Jun 22, 2008
2,810
398
83
Lee's Summit, MO
Watching the first half, I was far from comfortable with where we were at. Foul trouble was part of it, but neither team was really hitting shots. UNC’s coach made adjustments to their defense and it seemed to give them more energy. Their shots started dropping and ours didn’t. We became the stand around team others have pointed out here. Lot of work to get ready for the Big 12. Looking good on paper won’t do it.

Not giving up by any means. Fennelly typically takes the pre-conference to figure out how get the best out of that season’s team. I’d rather be strongest in March than December.

As someone else mentioned, if BF can’t win with this team, it’s probably never going to happen.
 

Neptune78

Well-Known Member
Aug 12, 2020
3,491
3,440
113
East of Neptune, IA.
Not switching on screens and missing 3s was the killer in the 2nd half.
But the positive take is that Soares is a talented, dominant player. Once Ash and our guards learn how to make Soares the focal point, we'll be very hard to beat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CyNews

Clonefan32

Well-Known Member
Nov 19, 2008
19,992
18,990
113
Soares is a blessing and a curse at this point. She raises our collective ceiling beyond what it could have been with just the returning group. As anyone who has followed WBB knows, we've needed size and shot blocking. She is a true unicorn with what she can do at her size.

With that said, she's going to take a piece of the pie from all of our other returning players. That's just the reality. She's just too good to not run offense through her as much as possible. She's also the type of player that we just haven't had. Even when we've played with bigs the last few years, they've primarily been used in the pick and roll and rarely put in a traditional post up situation. Our wings and guards are going to have to adjust to not having driving lanes.

It's a really unique situation to have a Top 10 team with everyone back and adding someone who probably becomes your best player. It's an awesome problem to have, but it's going to take some adjustment.

Oh, and ball screen defense. We may consider working on that...
 

qwerty

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Apr 3, 2020
4,130
5,266
113
58
Muscatine, IA
That was as poorly coached a second half as I've ever seen from Bill. Seemed like he was waiting to see if they could figure it out on their own.
I understand he likes to have the time outs so he can advance to the front court at the end of the game, but holy streaks Batman, call a time out during the game when things head south. And using those TOs to advance worked so well for us when we threw the ball away on three straight inbounds in the front court.