Overcoming adversity

Jeremy Gustafson

The ISU women’s basketball team has become used to quite a few things in recent years.

Winning, Big 12 Tournament titles, NCAA berths and the Sweet Sixteen are a few things the Cyclones have turned into habit.

Dealing with injuries, however, is new to the team.

Now that starting guard Erica Junod is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Iowa State will have to adjust quickly.

“June’s role is going to be tough to fill,” freshman guard Mary Fox said. “With the type of player she is, it’s gonna be tough for someone to take her place.”

Fox, along with freshmen guards Ada Anderson and Tracy Paustian, will be looked upon to provide support at the guard position. They will get their chance to battle for the top reserve spot Sunday, in an exhibition game against Johnson Financial.

“We all want to play, but we all want to work hard together and fill the role June played,” Fox said.

Junod’s starting spot will be filled by Tracy Gahan, who will move from the forward position. Junior college transfer Melanie Bremer will fill the starting spot Gahan gave up.

“[Gahan] is probably one of our key players who’s going to step up and who we’re going to have to rely on,” Fox explained.

Gahan, who has started 93 of her 97 games at Iowa State, averaged 7.5 rebounds last season to go along with 12.3 points per game.

Gahan will now join junior Lindsey Wilson in the Cyclone backcourt.

Wilson commended Gahan for her selflessness, adding that Gahan may play backup point guard, something “she’s probably not too comfortable with, but she’s doing it because that’s what the team needs.”

Wilson added that Sunday should be a “good test” for the younger Cyclones to get some game experience before the regular season gets under way Nov. 17 at Marquette.

“It’s all about consistency at this level,” Wilson said. “You gotta be able to do it day in and day out.”

Consistency is something that Junod provided last year. Averaging 20.2 minutes per game, 6.0 points per game and three rebounds.

She also shot 53 percent from three-point range.

Now that role will lie with Gahan and whoever steps up.

“We have a lot of stuff to deal with right now,” Wilson said. “People are stepping into new roles that maybe they weren’t quite prepared for, but that’s what they’ve got to do.”