Women’s team takes landing calmly

Jeremy Gustafson

The plane trouble that plagued the No. 12 ISU women’s basketball team may have been a little exaggerated, at least if Lindsey Wilson is telling the story.

“They said that our radio didn’t work,” the ISU point guard said. “Basically they lied to us . we later found out the landing gear wouldn’t go up.”

The Cyclones were en route to Lawrence, Kan., for a game with the Jayhawks Wednesday when they had to make a detour to Des Moines because the landing gear malfunctioned.

The team then had to take a bus some 230 miles to Lawrence, arriving just two hours before the game.

“We didn’t really think it was that big of a deal,” Wilson said. “Then, of course, we couldn’t get another plane, so we had to bus and that was kind of a hassle.”

Iowa State had more problems with travel than with the Jayhawks, winning handily, 75-50, and raising its record to 6-5 in the Big 12 and 18-5 overall.

But not all Cyclones were as calm and collected as Wilson.

“Like a minute after takeoff, they said `We have to do an emergency landing in Des Moines,'” ISU center Angie Welle said. “They didn’t say if our left engine was shot or if it was the radio thing still. They didn’t say anything, so then of course you notice turbulence more and you’re like `Oh my God, what’s going on. We’re flying so low to the ground.’ “

When the Cyclones landed in Des Moines, they were greeted by several ambulances and fire trucks, waiting on the runway, Welle said.

“Then we’re like `It wasn’t just the radio, what’s going on?’ ” she said.

Welle said she was glad she heard about landing gear problems after the plane was parked safely on the runway.

“It’s probably better that way,” she said.

The event was a bit more taxing on one Cyclone in particular.

Junior forward Mary Cofield has a fear of flying and admitted she was “a little bit nervous” before the plane landed safely.

Her teammates said Cofield normally has sweaty palms when the team flies, but this case was a little different.

“Where did you hear that from?” Cofield asked, later admitting “[My hands] were dripping . it was a little disgusting, but I made it through it.”

Iowa State’s next contest is Saturday at 1 p.m. when they host No. 13 Colorado, 8-3 in the Big 12, 18-6 overall.

Now that they are safely at home, the Cyclones can learn a valuable lesson about traveling the day of the game.

“I’m pretty sure we’ll never travel on game day again,” Wilson said.