ISU basketball looks for answers to key departures


photo: Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

Sophomore Brynn Williamson directs her teammates where to go during the game against William Penn at Hilton Colliseum on Tuesday, Nov. 6. The Cyclones defeated the Statesmen 98-55.

Maddy Arnold

After losing two of its three leading scorers from last year, the ISU women’s basketball team has some holes to fill this season.

Anna Prins and Chelsea Poppens averaged almost 26 points per game for the Cyclones last season. ISU coach Bill Fennelly said at media day on Monday that he’ll be looking for players to step up and fill those roles this season.

“You lose great people. We lost three great seniors and now it’s someone else’s turn,” Fennelly said. “Most of the great players we’ve had here. … The biggest jump is between the sophomore and junior year. That’s where Nikki [Moody] is.”

Junior guard Nikki Moody has been a two-year starter at Iowa State. Last season she averaged 7.4 assists per game, which was good enough for first in the Big 12 and third nationally.

Junior guard Brynn Williamson is another Cyclone in the same situation as Moody. Fennelly said he wants her to rebound more this season while not forgetting what she is best at, 3s and defense.

Williamson had a 35.4 shooting percentage and 68 three pointers last season. On defense, she had 42 steals and 25 blocks.

“That gap that [Fennelly is] talking about is more so a maturity thing more than a skill thing,” Williamson said. “As a junior, you’re expected to help the freshmen, help the sophomores. Not only that but contribute on your own, know what you’re doing well.”

In addition to putting up points, Fennelly is worried about finding players to replace the number of minutes played by both Poppens and Prins last season. He said that a lot of players would see more minutes this season.

Fennelly expects to use sophomore center Madison Baier more this season He said the minutes she will play will be among the “most important” because of her height and size.

Senior forward Hallie Christofferson said no particular player has stood out to her in preseason practices but she doesn’t believe it will be a problem for Iowa State.

“Maybe it’ll be more apparent when practice actually starts. I think everybody is going to have to know their role and do it every day to be successful,” Christofferson said. “If we can get everybody on the same page, everybody working as a team then I’ll be happy.”