Cyclones prepare for ‘Play 4 Kay’ against Oklahoma


Chassidy Cole moves the ball down court against a Kansas defender on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Hilton Coliseum. Cole leads the team with 11 assists, sharing point guard duties with Lauren Mansfield and Nikki Moody. 

Caitlyn Diimig

For senior Chassidy Cole, playing against Oklahoma on Saturday is more than a chance to seek payback for handing Iowa State its 80-51 loss on Jan. 4 in Norman, Okla.

The “Play 4Kay” game will have Cyclones donning pink, and Cole will use her grandmother as a motivator.

Cole’s grandmother, Virginia Woods, is a breast cancer survivor.

“As far as players, if they do know someone who has breast cancer it is kind of like a little momentum booster,” Cole said.

Cole said she and her grandmother are very close.

“We talk every day,” Cole said.

Junior Anna Prins also is looking forward to the Play 4Kay game.

“I’m glad we’re playing at home,” Prins said. “And it is a pink game so obviously we’re playing for something bigger than just basketball.”

Iowa State (15-9, 6-7 Big 12) will have more than just pink on their minds — they’ll have to defend against the top-ranked team in 3-point shooting percentage in the Big 12.

The Sooners (17-8, 9-4) are shooting .350 from beyond the arc.

“It seems like every single one of their players can hit a 3,” Cole said. “They definitely build off of that.”

Although Oklahoma averages a better attempt ratio, Iowa State leads the conference in most 3-pointers per game with a 6.58. Oklahoma averages 5.25 3-pointers a game.

Freshman Brynn Williamson leads Iowa State with an average of 1.7 3-pointers a game.

The Cyclones’ last matchup with the Sooners saw OU sophomore Aaryn Ellenberg score 21 points and junior Joanna McFarland score 19.

The Sooners made 11 of 18 attempts from the 3-point line.

“We can’t allow them to just get on a streak with their 3-pointers,” Cole said. “We’ve got to keep them rattled; we’ve got to try our best to make them put it on the floor and not let them get comfortable with their shooting.”

Another key player for Oklahoma is junior Whitney Hand.

“Hand is someone we all want on our team,” said coach Bill Fennelly after Wednesday’s win against Kansas. “I texted Sherry after the UConn game and said, ‘I am a card-carrying member of the Whitney fan club.’ I mean that kid just plays hard all the time.”

Hand scored 18 points against No. 2 Connecticut on Monday.

Hand is sixth in the Big 12 in scoring with 13.9 points a game, just one seat behind junior Chelsea Poppens, who averages 14.4 points a game.

Iowa State will tip off against Oklahoma at 7 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. The Play 4Kay game will be raising breast cancer awareness.