Efficient play leads Cyclones to series split with Jayhawks


Photo: Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Senior Chelsea Poppens transitions with the ball out of bounds. Poppens scored 22 points in the Cyclones’ 83-68 victory on Feb. 27, 2013, at Hilton Coliseum. 

Stephen Koenigsfeld

When the Jayhawks’ and Cyclones’ offenses took to the court on Wednesday night, it was an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. 

The last two times these teams met was in Lawrence, Kan., when the game was taken into overtime after Iowa State lost a double-digit lead. Senior Anna Prins said she was having flashbacks of the Cyclones’ matchup in Lawrence.

“Just because they did it to us last time, knowing they are capable of doing it, losing here at home the last game we didn’t want to lose another one,” Prins said. 

Something Iowa State has struggled with throughout portions of the season is foul trouble. Centers Chelsea Poppens and Anna Prins were able to play most of the first half, where Poppens only had one foul between the two.

“It makes a big difference,” Prins said. “First of all, it’s not as frustrating.  And being able to get into a rhythm and just being seniors, it’s really disappointing when the foul trouble comes because you want to be out on the court.”

Able to stay out of foul controversy for most of the game, the Cyclones (20-6, 11-5 Big 12) did not have to call on their bench as much as they have in games past.

“We’ve gotten ourselves in trouble this year because of positioning or whatever has put us in trouble,” said ISU coach Bill Fennelly. “For the most part it was the way Iowa State has played defense most of the year and it’s allowed us to win games.”

With about nine minutes left to play in the game, Kansas (16-11, 7-9) began to plague itself with its own foul trouble. KU guard Carolyn Davis picked up fouls three and four almost back-to-back after coming back into the game.

“We’re a lot better when she’s on the floor,” said KU coach Bonnie Henrickson. “But that’s on her, she got them early. But I thought in the first half without her, we played tough.”

Late foul trouble eventually caught up with the Jayhawks. KU guard Angel Goodrich put up 21 points of her own. Her and teammate Monica Engelman’s effort of 41 combined points was not enough come away with a sweep against the Cyclones.

“The point guards that can dictate the game are the hardest thing to guard,” Fennelly said. “Someone who can control the game with the ball … and control the game defensively, those are the ones that are really special.”