ISU women prevail in exhibition outing

Paul Kix

Gabor Uthelyi, the head coach of KSC Szekszard of Hungary, instructed his team Saturday night donning a red t-shirt, blue jeans and sneakers.

About sixty feet away from Uthelyi’s left sat a well-groomed Bill Fennelly, the ISU women’s basketball coach, complete in a more coach-conforming suit, tie and black formal shoes.

It is funny how Uthelyi is the one who epitomizes this year’s Iowa State team, and its break from the mold of recent Cyclone squads.

Led by a slashing point guard in Lindsey Wilson, Iowa State won the exhibition game easily, 87-47.

“We played really hard,” Fennelly said after the game. “We have 10 players right now who are competing for spots.”

Kelly Cizek and Erica Junod played well off the bench, tallying nine and eight points and seven and four rebounds, respectively.

But it was the trio of Wilson, forward Tracy Gahan and center Angie Welle that led the Cyclones on this night.

Gahan came out early.

The junior connected on three three-pointers at the outset, despite a broken thumb, to finish the game with 16 points and 10 rebounds, four of which came off of the offensive glass.

Welle also trotted off the court with a double-double: 12 points and 11 rebounds.

But the evening belonged to Wilson.

The sophomore from Seattle, Wash. ended with 16 points. And her game-high nine assists exemplified her court vision.

Although the game was an exhibition, it was still the first time Wilson was named as the starting point guard for Iowa State.

“It was exciting,” Wilson said afterwards in regards to her new-found role. “I had a year to learn from Stacy [Frese].”

But where Frese would take aim at the deep three or set-up the offense, Wilson took the initiative against Szekszard.

When she was not driving and distributing to her aforementioned teammates, Wilson found senior guard Megan Taylor, who finished with 11 points and six rebounds.

Iowa State dominated from start to finish.

The Cyclones held a 24-8 advantage midway through the first half, which extended to 22 by intermission, 39-17.

Iowa State’s strong defense coupled with poor shooting by Szekszard left the Hungarian team to endure a scoring drought, which lasted just over five minutes in the first half, from the 11:35 mark to the 6:31 mark.

Szekszard, for the game, shot an abysmal 26 percent from the field.

Fennelly said he was proud that the team’s defense “contested almost every shot.”

Fennelly also believes Wilson will be a “real big contributor,” this year.

Wilson and Gahan each played 26 minutes, but the playing time was evenly distributed, as every Cyclone saw action.

Gahan said the team played very well, and “Everyone contributed something.”

Back-up centers Kate Bauman and Gintare Cipinyte played well in limited action.

Bauman ended the game with four points while Cipinyte played well defensively.

“We need Cipinyte or Bauman to be there every night,” Fennelly said.

Szekszard was led by center Ester Lodi and forward Eva Sztoykovics with 11 and 16 points respectively on this night.

KSC Szekszard continues its North American tour when it travels to Manhattan, Kan., to face the Wildcats of Kansas State on Tuesday.

The exhibition trail continues for the Cyclones when they face the NWBL USA Elite team next Sunday.

The first contest that will count for the Cyclones comes against the cross-state rival Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday, Nov. 22 in Iowa City.

Opening the season at Iowa does not phase Fennelly.

He is concerned, however, that the Hawkeyes will already have two games under their belt when the Cyclones hit the Carver-Hawkeye hardwood for the first time of consequence.

“Thanksgiving will either be great or really stink,” Fennelly said.