After watching the game last night I had lots of notes. Words like terrible, horrid, cold, slow, and ugly kept popping up. So, I decided to sit on it for a day and see if I felt any different about the game than I did while watching it. Fortunately, the sun came out today! Let's go positive. For starters, Jade still is a bolt of electricity for this team. She started last night and was doing a good job overall. When coach initially did a line change and brought in Rae and Maggie things feel apart for a while. The defense looked lost. BUT Rae started to do some things that were very un-Rae like. The person who I've ranted about dribbling incessantly started driving the lane. She passed the ball. She nailed some big shots. This was as good (overall) as I've seen Rae play. Another big plus is watching how AC has become a fixture in the starting lineup. She isn't flashy, but she gets all the little things done and appears when you need her to. Then there is Joens. I can't come up with any new words to describe her. Here is my try...she is a combination of Bridget and Pop. She has the skill set of Bridget and the hard nosed grit of Pop. Already one of the best players I've seen in some time. The last positive is that the ladies didn't fold when pushed. They easily could have after another bad third quarter, but they found a way. That determination will benefit them in the long run. All those bad things...this team just does some ugly things. Another 5 second call on an inbounds play that this time was Maggie's fault. Shooting that is hot and cold. Most of the game these two teams did a disservice to the game of basketball. The first half KSU couldn't buy a basket with a coupon. With all of this happening what gave the sisters the advantage was clearing the defensive glass and limiting turnovers in the first half. A little burst from Rae saw the lead go to double digits at halftime. And then...the wheels (offensively) fell off...again. The third quarter saw KSU change their strategy and go inside where their bigs clearly dominated our "post" players. To make matters worse, our posts developed the tendency to swat at the ball and got called for fouls repeatedly. KSU kicked our butts to the tune of a 20-13 third and cut a 13 point lead down to 2 early in the 4th. It was chew on nails (and say some bad words) time for me. I'll close with a two positive notes. After seeing that lead cut to 2 and the sisters seemingly unable to score, Joens and Rae came to the rescue offensively. Joens scored 9 points to match the entire KSU team and with others' help the lead got pushed back to 9. The downside followed quickly. KSU started pounding inside and we gave up several traditional 3 point plays by swiping at the ball. ISU started to work the clock and after a miss Nez made a great rebound and dished to Rae. Beautiful drive, a pivot and swish...lead extended. Rae iced the game at the line and we saw Maggie and AC get some crucial rebounds on the defensive end to make this game look less close than it was. Grit and determination. That wins ball games. Free Throws - as you all know this is my favorite stat. How about going 100% from the line at 10-10 on the night? Amazingly, the only two players to shoot them were Joens and Rae. Scott def should have had a couple. Wise Watch - Maddie got her delegated minutes (about 18 I think) last night and while she isn't scoring a lot yet, her presence is so important to our guard court. A little line of 3 points, 2 boards and 2 steals sure helps out. Nez - while she was switched in and out of the game she continues to amaze me with her graceful moves and court awareness on offense. Defense has its ups and downs, but she is a player to watch on O. Joens - ho hum...another double double. 21 points. 11 boards. 2 steals. 3 blocks. Don't you love it? She backs down to NO ONE. Scott - this was a tough game for Kristen. She was facing some posts that had more size and inside she struggled to score. The outside shot wasn't falling either. Defense was a bit suspect throughout. Just a tough game. AC - she is that "invisible" intangible on this team. She is always going. Picked up double digits in scoring, hit three treys, got some big boards and her defense was pretty solid. Sunday is another step forward. KU comes to town. VERY winnable ball game and if we can keep rotating 8 players or nine instead of six or seven we should be in great shape to win. KU is 12-5 overall, but 1-5 in the conference. The only power 5 wins they have are against Florida and Texas Tech. See you at the H Sunday!