Post players lead women’s hoops in 2-game winning streak

Caitlyn Diimig

Coach Bill Fennelly made a fist and tapped the wood table in front of him.

Fennelly was talking about junior Anna Prins’ health and felt the need to “knock on wood.”

“The biggest thing for [Prins] is we’ve got to keep her healthy,” Fennelly said.

This is the first time since Prins has played for Iowa State that she has not missed a practice due to ailments, Fennelly said.

“There’s been a little ailment or sickness that’s always hindered her development,” Fennelly said. “She’s a kid that needs the work and practice and she’s been able to get it.”

Prins is one-third of the dominant post trio for Iowa State (13-8, 4-6 Big 12).

The other two post players are sophomore Hallie Christofferson and junior Chelsea Poppens.

“I don’t think there’s any question that one of the big reasons our team is playing better is we’ve been fairly consistent with our interior kids,” Fennelly said. “[Christofferson] and [Prins] have really gotten better and Poppens continues to put together consistent efforts all the time.”

Against Oklahoma State last Wednesday, Prins tallied 16 points and eight rebounds, well above her season average of 10 and four.

Christofferson scored 20 points in the same game and 17 against Texas on Saturday.

“Poppens and I stay after practice and shoot extra shots,” Christofferson said on Saturday. “That’s helped me.”

The extra work is also paying off for Poppens, who boasts 14 points and 11 rebounds per game.

“If Brittney Griner was not in this league, you’d have a hard time not making the case that [Poppens] is the player of the year in this league,” Fennelly said.

Poppens and the 6-foot-8-inch Baylor junior Griner are tied for most double-doubles in the Big 12 with 10.

“[Poppen’s] not 6-8, she’s just a hard worker, so she really has to work for everything she gets, and it pays off,” said senior guard Lauren Mansfield.

Fennelly said the trio of post players will be key to winning upcoming games against Missouri, Texas Tech and Kansas who are strong in interior play.