Fennelly: Women’s offensive showing needs improvement against Big 12


The ISU coaching staff looks on in frustration, as the team begins the first half down 16-8. This marks 59 straight regular season non-conference games for coach Fennelly and the ISU squad.

Caitlyn Diimig

After losing the first two games in conference play, coach Bill Fennelly seemed unfazed about Iowa State’s losing streak at his weekly news conference Monday.

The Cyclones (9-4, 0-2 Big 12) lost to Oklahoma 80-51 in their conference opener and to Baylor 57-45 at Hilton Coliseum on Saturday.

“Defensively, I thought we had a good plan against Baylor, and our kids bought into it,” Fennelly said. “At Oklahoma, they shot the ball great.”

Fennelly said he thinks his team is doing fine defensively, but needs to improve on offense in order to beat Kansas (12-2, 1-1) in Lawrence, Kan., on Wednesday.

“Where we sit right now is not where we want to be,” said sophomore Hallie Christofferson. “That gives us a little bit more extra motivation to go out there and win on the road.”

Fennelly said KU junior Carolyn Davis will be a strong opponent for the Cyclones to play against.

“I remember how physical she was as a player, and that was a challenge for me last year,” Christofferson said of Davis.

Christofferson has averaged 14.5 points against the Jayhawks in previous games. She is currently averaging 10.5 points per game this season, but only 4.5 in conference play.

“The places we’re struggling are usually the places we don’t,” Fennelly said.

Free throws, overall shooting and rebounding need to improve if the Cyclones expect to win, he said.

“Those are three areas that historically when we’ve been good, we’ve had better numbers,” Fennelly said. “Those numbers need to change.”

In only two games, freshman Brynn Williamson has managed to put up an average of 14 points per game in conference play.

Williamson is familiar with Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence where, as a native of Kansas City, Mo., she would watch the men’s basketball games.

“I have to put all my KU stuff aside, I’m surely a Cyclone now,” Williamson said. “Now that I’m here, I can’t really see myself anywhere besides Ames.”

On another note, a standout for the Cyclones so far this season has been junior Chelsea Poppens. 

Last week, Poppens was awarded for her outstanding play in the Cyclone Challenge by being named Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Player of the Week.

Throughout that span, she averaged 16.5 points and 14.5 rebounds per game while only playing 27 minutes per game. 

The junior was able to score 14 points while collecting 16 rebounds in the first game of the Cyclone Challenge against New Hampshire. She also had 19 points to go along with 13 boards against Buffalo in the championship game.