Shooting difficulties doom women’s team in tight K-State game

Matt Gubbels

The ISU women’s basketball team was able to shut down Kansas State guard Kimberly Dietz in the second half.

The bad news for the Cyclones (15-8, 4-6 Big 12) was that her teammates were able to pick her up at key times and give the Wildcats (17-6, 9-1 Big 12) a hard-fought 45-42 road victory in a game that was considerably different from Kansas State’s 80-49 victory in Manhattan, Kan.

Dietz opened the game on fire, leading the Wildcats to a 26-17 halftime lead. The junior, who ended up with a game-high 20 points, outscored the entire ISU team in the first half, racking up 18 points.

Iowa State came out of halftime and went on a 13-4 run, however, with seven of those points coming from sophomore point guard Alison Lacey.

Junior forward Amanda Nisleit said the Cyclones knew they could come back, especially with their defense playing well.

“We just knew it was a home game and we could play with them,” Nisleit said. “We just kept working and getting stops on defense.”

Marlies Gipson and Ashley Sweat then scored back-to-back baskets to regain the lead. Heather Ezell tied the game at 35 with a three, but Kansas State took the lead for good after Gipson scored two more times.

Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said Iowa State played great team defense in the second half, which allowed them to keep the game close.

“We were more passive and they were more aggressive as a team,” Patterson said. “I think that carried over to Dietz.”

Iowa State continued to come at the Wildcats and had the lead down to one, at 43-42, with 14 seconds left. Lacey, who had 13 points on only 5-of-22 shooting for the game, had a layup bounce off the rim to the left, and Gipson was able to corral the rebound and hit two free throws. Gipson scored 12 points, eight of which came in the second half with Dietz struggling to score.

Iowa State head coach Fennelly said that, at halftime, he challenged his team to slow Dietz down.

“There has to be a sense of pride somewhere where one kid is outscoring the whole team,” Fennelly said. “To [the Wildcats’] credit, they threw the ball into Gipson a little more in the second half.”

After the free throws, Lacey, needing a three, drove down the lane and lost the ball, while it looked like she was going for a two.

“It’s frustrating, because you feel like you make a couple [shots] and you have a chance to win the game,” Fennelly said.

Lacey said the Cyclones kept getting close but could not make the plays at the right times.

“We just couldn’t get over the hump,” she said.

Junior forward Jocelyn Anderson had 10 points for the Cyclones, but the key to the game might lie in the shooting percentages.

Kansas State shot 43 percent for the game, while Iowa State only managed 32 percent, including an anemic 4-of-21 from three-point range.

“[Kansas State] played great defense, and our shots didn’t really fall tonight,” Nisleit said. “I thought we were getting pretty good looks.”

Fennelly said the biggest thing in the loss was that Iowa State just could not make shots.

“If you don’t make shots, you have no offense,” Fennelly said. “You can’t guard any better than we guarded for the most part, but at the end of the day, you have to make some shots.”