Iowa State anticpates to snap offensive slump before game against Kansas State


Brian Achenbach/Iowa State Daily

Junior guard Brynn Williamson made five of her ten three point shot attempts during Iowa State’s 85-65 win over William & Mary on Dec. 29, 2013 at Hilton Coliseum. Williamson finished the game with 19 points and lead the team in assists with four.

Maddy Arnold

Late at night after his most recent loss, ISU women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly sat in his office searching for an answer.

Fennelly was reading old practice notes from four and five seasons ago looking for a way to get Iowa State out of its most recent scoring slump. He said he’s trying “everything and anything” to help.

The No. 23 ISU women’s basketball team (15-5, 4-5 Big 12) hopes to solve its offensive struggles before its matchup with Kansas State (9-11, 3-6 Big 12) on Feb. 1. Iowa State has lost five of its last six games including a close one in Manhattan, Kan. Jan. 18.

“We’ve got to keep searching, trying to find some momentum offensively and making sure it doesn’t impact the other parts of our game,” Fennelly said. “That’s the journey and challenge for this team right now. It seems like it’s gone on for a while. Some of it’s good defense, some of it is just people not making shots they’ve made in the past.”

Iowa State’s offensive struggles were apparent in its most recent loss to No. 20 West Virginia on Jan. 28. The Cyclones shot 28.3 percent from the field during the game and had just 21 points at half.

Iowa State finished the game with 54 points with senior forward Hallie Christofferson leading the team with 20. No other Cyclones scored double digits against the Mountaineers.

“You can look at any statistical number you want to look at and it’s not very pretty as far as the way we’re shooting the ball,” Fennelly said. “We can talk about a lot of things, but you’re not going to win many games shooting 28 percent. I don’t care who you play.”

Iowa State did not shoot much better in its loss against Kansas State earlier in the season. The Cyclones were just 34 percent on the night but made 12 3-pointers to keep the game close before the Wildcats were able to pull away with a 80-74 win.

Iowa State will have to snap its offensive slump before its game against Kansas State in order to outscore KSU guard Leticia Romero and forward Katya Leick. The two starters combined for 50 points against the Cyclones the first time around.

The game against Kansas State marks the start of the second half of the Big 12 schedule for Iowa State. With only nine games left, the reality of their recent losses is starting to set in for some of the Cyclones. 

“We’re at a really critical point where we’ve got to make a decision if we’re going to be one of the average teams that just goes through the rest of the season or we’re going to be a really good team and finish and go to the tournament,” said junior guard Brynn Williamson.

The second matchup of the season between Iowa State and Kansas State is slated to begin at 8 p.m. Feb. 1 at Hilton Coliseum.