2nd meeting gives same outcome

Matt Gubbels

LINCOLN, Neb. – The first time the ISU women’s basketball team played Nebraska, they struggled in their first game without Nicky Wieben and lost 82-72.

On Wednesday night, the score was not as high, but the Cornhuskers, with their possible all-conference tandem of Danielle Page and Kelsey Griffin, still were able to control the game in a 55-45 victory.

Page scored 11 points and Griffin scored 10 to join Yvonee Turner in double figures with 11 points for the Huskers.

The worries about Page and Griffin, along with contributions off the bench from Nikki Bober and Cory Montgomery, helped Nebraska hit eight threes, two of them coming from Turner, and shoot above 40 percent from behind the arc – just as they had done in the first matchup.

Coach Bill Fennelly said trying to help against those two players in the post left others with good looks from the outside.

“Both teams hits some big threes, but they hit some at critical times,” Fennelly said. “They have a very good inside game, and that is the nature of basketball. It’s balance – when you do one thing, you give up another.”

The Cyclones struggled offensively, with only eight points coming from their post players, and shot just 34.8 percent. Iowa State also had troubles handling the Husker pressure, turning the ball over 14 times.

Page said the Huskers’ defensive game plan coming was to shut off penetration, which would take away other things from the Cyclones.

“Iowa State is known for their great shooters, but they set that up off penetration,” Page said. “That led to stopping the three-pointer and stopping their inside game.”

Junior guard Heather Ezell said Nebraska’s post players were able to hurt the Cyclones on both ends of the floor.

“They were able to step up and kind of clog up the lane when we tried to drive, and they did a great job to score on the offensive end,” Ezell said.

The ten-point margins of victory in both games may have come down to Nebraska outscoring Iowa State in the post, 29-8 in the first game and 21-8 Wednesday.

Iowa State was able to hit 16 threes over the two games, but the Huskers hit 19 from beyond the arc.

“We had trouble getting it inside and finishing around the basket,” sophomore point guard Alison Lacey said. “We shot okay from the three-point line, but we still didn’t hit as many as we should have.”

Fennelly said the lack of an inside game made the game seem very lopsided.

“To be honest, I’m amazed the game was as close as it was at times,” Fennelly said. “The physical nature of the game impacted us.”