TCU 3-pointer sinks Iowa State in Ames


Jen Hao Wong/Iowa State Daily

ISU freshman guard Seanna Johnson reacts to falling hard after attempting a layup during Iowa State’s 61-60 loss against TCU on Feb. 5 at Hilton Coliseum. 

Dylan Montz

When TCU’s Donielle Breaux rose up from beyond the arc with six seconds remaining, it didn’t matter that the Horned Frogs had only made one 3-pointer in the first 39:54 of the game.

It felt good the whole way.

“Actually it shocked me,” Breaux said. “I didn’t realize I was going to be that wide open. I thought they were going to switch everything, but Iowa State, they’re a good team.”

A final effort to get the ball up the floor for Iowa State resulted in a jump ball under the basket — to the dismay of ISU fans — with the arrow pointed in favor of TCU (13-9, 4-6 Big 12) who held on to win 61-60 Feb. 5. It was the fourth loss for Iowa State (16-6, 5-6 Big 12) at home this season.

What happened to Iowa State on the last possession was described as total lack of communication of the plan to switch every screen TCU performed.

“We had one person that didn’t switch,” said ISU coach Bill Fennelly. “We told them, ‘Switch every screen, make them turn the corner, make them bounce it, make them hit a tough two.’ We had someone make a mistake defensively.”

Iowa State was able to find a rhythm from beyond the arc, shooting 11-of-31 from 3-point range. Junior guard Brynn Williamson blazed the trail for the Cyclones offensively, pouring in 18 points, including 6-of-13 shooting from long distance.

The ISU offense was once again hampered, though, by turnovers against the zone defense of the Horned Frogs. In the game at TCU on Jan. 2, Iowa State turned the ball over 19 times and turned it over 16 times Feb. 5.

For Williamson, her near career-high offensive numbers don’t do her much comfort knowing the struggles with ball movement on the offensive end, leading to 16 giveaways.

“Sometimes we were going way too fast and out of our comfort zone. Other times we were holding the ball way too long,” Williamson said. “We were getting open looks, we weren’t taking them, we were attacking the basket, getting mauled down there and we couldn’t finish. It was a really big factor.”

That is exactly what TCU likes to do when it has certain personnel on the floor, too.

“We fly around a lot out of that zone,” said TCU coach Jeff Mittie. “I thought we were able to get some traps in it. We have one of the best defensive centers in the league in [Latricia] Lovings so we can spread more, and I thought we were able to take advantage of that.”

Iowa State is once again left with more questions to answer heading into its practice gym before a road trip to Texas Feb. 9. Fennelly sees the loss on Feb. 5 as a time for each person on the team to look in the mirror and decide what they are going to do to impact the success of the team going forward.

“There’s a lot of things that need to happen differently,” Fennelly said. “…When you have something bad happen to you, whether it’s basketball or anything in your life, you’ve got choices to make and we’ll see how we react in practice [Feb. 6].”