Longhorn’s roughness, frustrations help Cyclones earn victory


Forward Chelsea Poppens moves around the Texas opposition and toward the hoop Saturday, Feb. 4. Poppens lead the team in both scoring and rebounds, with a total of 27 points and 10 rebounds, in the Cyclones’ win.

Caitlyn Diimig

She lay on the ground, her body writhing in pain with her hands covering her face. Senior Chassidy Cole’s face had just been stepped on by UT senior Ashley Gayle.

This was just one example of the physical play that dominated Iowa State’s game against Texas. The Cyclones dismissed the Longhorn roughness and won 71-56.

“A great team like Iowa State is going to make you pay for your mistakes, and that’s what they did,” said UT coach Gail Goestenkors.

Both Anna Prins and Chelsea Poppens were victims of freshman Nneka Enemkpali’s rowdy play.

Enemkpali earned two technical fouls after pushing Prins during a scramble for a rebound and for elbowing Poppens while driving to the basket.

“Iowa State already had the momentum, but that just felt like a dagger for us,” Goestenkors said.

Enemkpali was ejected with six minutes to go in the game.

“This was her second start of her career, so I think she was probably feeling a little pressure from that,” Goestenkors said. “I told her at that point, ‘You were playing really well and aggressive, but you’ve made a freshman mistake.’ She lost her mind and that can’t happen because it affects the whole team.”

Poppens said it wasn’t just Enemkpali who was frustrated on the Longhorn team.

“It’s just in the air,” Poppens said. “You could just tell they were frustrated with each other. They were making bad passes, bad shots.”

The Cyclones halted shooting by UT sophomore Chassidy Fussell, who averages 17 points per game in Big 12 play, by only allowing her three points.

Texas left Hilton with a shooting percentage of 23. The Cyclones ended the game shooting 47 percent and with three players with double-digit points.

A 19-4 run in the last 15 minutes of the game helped Iowa State seal the win.

“The last 15 minutes we couldn’t play any better,” said ISU coach Bill Fennelly. 

Iowa State will play Missouri in Columbia, Mo., on Wednesday.