Iowa State hopes to overcome offensive struggles against Kansas State


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

After the best start in school history and its longest-ever winning streak, the ISU women’s basketball team began a new kind of streak—a losing one.

The No. 13 Cyclones (14-2, 3-2 Big 12) started off the season 14-0 before dropping two straight home games—something they had not done for two years.

Iowa State’s last two games have been not only its lowest scoring games, but also had the fewest number of made 3-pointers. Now Iowa State has to take its losing streak and recent offensive struggles on the road to Kansas State (7-9, 1-4 Big 12) Jan. 18.

“Life was good for a while, now we’ve lost two, it’s ‘Where do we go from here?’” said junior guard Brynn Williamson. “[ISU coach Bill Fennelly] doesn’t really say much because now we know little things, little possessions cost us a game. It cost us two now.”

In the previous two games, the Cyclones have not had the same high-scoring offense as earlier in the season. During the 14-0 winning streak, Iowa State averaged just over 80 points per game.

In their two losses, the Cyclones are averaging only 60.5 points. Iowa State’s lowest scoring game was the loss to unranked West Virginia on Wednesday, when it scored just 59 points.

“We’ve got to worry about ourselves and get better in a lot of ways, and certainly our offensive efficiency has to improve, especially the way we need to make shots,” Fennelly said. “When you have an open shot, you got to make it. That changes games.”

But points per game is not the only number that has dropped for the Cyclones since the winning streak ended. In its first 14 games, Iowa State averaged over 10 made 3-pointers per game.

In their two losses, the Cyclones made a combined five made 3-pointers. Iowa State had only two baskets from beyond the arc against West Virginia—the fewest in a game since February 2011.

“Stat sheets don’t really lie, so when you see our shooting percentages, I think it’s just going to be a big thing on getting in the gym and getting extra shots up,” said Williamson.

During the first 14 games, Iowa State shot nearly 38 percent from 3-point range. The Cyclones’ average dropped to only 14 percent through their two losses. Despite the struggle from the perimeter, Fennelly said the 3-pointers will remain a big part of Iowa State’s game.

“[3-point shooting is] a concern when the last few games we didn’t shoot very well,” Fennelly said. “For the most part, our kids know they can make that shot and it’s been a big part of our team since the day we got here, and I don’t anticipate that changing a lot.”