WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Cyclones hope to break road skid

Senior Nicky Wieben drives to the basket against Missouri on Wednesday, January 21. Photo: Shing Kai Chan/Iowa State Daily

Shing Kai Chan

Senior Nicky Wieben drives to the basket against Missouri on Wednesday, January 21. Photo: Shing Kai Chan/Iowa State Daily

Nate Sandell

NCAA tournament runs, upset victories and wins over in-state rivals. Iowa State’s senior class has done all of these, but they haven’t beat Nebraska on the road.

“We’ve made the list where we have gone and the teams we haven’t beat. One of the things at the top of the list is going to Nebraska and winning,” senior Heather Ezell said.

The Bob Devaney Center has been far from a desirable destination for the Cyclones over the last five seasons, as the team has not come home with a victory since Jan. 25, 2003.

“It’s a very little thing, but you hope your seniors don’t want to go through their careers never having won in Lincoln,” said coach Bill Fennelly. “Whatever little thing you can conjure up to motivate.’

For the first four years of that streak, the Cyclones at least enjoyed a series split by winning at home. Last season, however, Nebraska out-powered the Cyclones, winning both games by 10. In those two games Nebraska forwards Danielle Page and Kelsey Griffin had their way with the defense, combining for 50 points and 19 rebounds.

With Page graduated, Griffin was set to defend her spot on the All-Big 12 squad until her season ended before it could start after she suffered season-ending ankle injury in August. The void left by Griffin has been noticeable as Nebraska has started out the year 10-7.

“She’s a very good player and I think one of the better individual talents in our league, so you can’t take away a player of that caliber without impacting your team,” Fennelly said.

Even without its top-scorer out, coach Connie Yori’s team has continued to run the same type of offense, routinely sending 10-11 players out per game.

“They’re hard to prepare for because they play so many kids. Connie’s style has always been to wear you out. Just keep throwing waves of players at you. Their style is not any different, the personnel is a little different, but when you prepare for them you prepare in the same way,” Fennelly said.

Iowa State heads to Lincoln coming off a dominating 64-42 victory over Missouri.

Equipped with a suffocating defensive effort, the Cyclones held the Tigers to a 30 percent shooting percentage from the field.

After losing two in a row, Wednesday’s win sets the team up to start regaining some consistency against the Huskers.

Knowing how the two teams routinely split the season series, Fennelly said it is important to pick up a win on the road.

“You separate yourself by sweeping someone,” Fennelly said. “We walk out there with a win, we have a two-win lead on Nebraska, but if we walk out with a loss it’s a tie. So trying to string together consecutive games is important.”