Iowa State looks to snap Cowgirls’ undefeated conference record

Iowa State senior guard Madison Wise gets passed the ball against Omaha on Nov. 25 at Hilton Coliseum. 

Megan Teske

After a strong team win over Texas Tech on Sunday, Iowa State women’s basketball will look to go 4-1 in Big 12 play and snap Oklahoma State’s undefeated conference record when the Cyclones play the Cowgirls on Wednesday.

The Cyclones played balanced basketball against Texas Tech and got five players into double figures, but the win came without senior forward Kristin Scott playing in the second half.

Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said Scott is being evaluated and the decision on whether she will play against Oklahoma State will be made Wednesday, but she didn’t practiced Monday or Tuesday.

Fennelly said other players will have to step up in Scott’s potential absence, and that any way you look at it, not having Scott is not a good thing.

“That means everyone else has got to do what they do and then some,” Fennelly said. “But that’s the nature of it… we had to win three games at the end of last year to have a chance to be in the NCAA Tournament and we won all three of them and Kristin Scott was in a sweatsuit, so we’re not about excuses.”

One player who stepped up in Scott’s absence in the Texas Tech game was senior guard Madi Wise, who had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Fennelly said Wise had one of her best games in a long time and her best game of the season against Texas Tech, and said he hopes she can be that player again if Scott is out.

“I told her after the game Madi Wise acted, played, conducted herself like an Iowa State senior is supposed to when they’re needed,” Fennelly said. “We all talk about when you’re needed the most that’s when you need to show up and with Kristin Scott not playing and … we’re undersized as it is, you gotta have someone step into that role and Madi was tremendous.”

In this COVID-19 season, Fennelly has had the team focus more on themselves than the opponent when preparing for a game. He said the same strategy will be used against Oklahoma State.

“We’ve gotta focus on what we do,” Fennelly said. “Yeah you have a scouting report, you work on the team’s plays, you look at personnel, but so much of it is about what we need to do to play the best we can given the restrictions and give them something that is foundational every day so that when there is a pause… you still revert back to what is it that makes Iowa State a better team.”

Fennelly added that they made the decision that the effort is 90 percent on the Cyclones and what they need.

Against Texas Tech, Iowa State set a new record for most made three-pointers in a game with 19 made threes.

Fennelly said against Oklahoma State, they will have to make shots, especially since the Cowgirls have the size advantage.

“Their size and length are just so much better than ours but we have to just play the way we play,” Fennelly said. “We’re gonna have to rebound the ball better, which means everyone, not just [Ashley Joens], and you gotta take care of the ball better.”

Fennelly said this is stuff they always talk about, but it will make more of a difference if Scott doesn’t play because the matchup would favor Iowa State offensively due to Scott being able to play in space and rebounding-wise, having five extra fouls with her playing.

Junior guard Ashley Joens said despite Oklahoma State being 5-0 in Big 12 play, you can’t think about the records of either team.

“You just have to go out, play, compete, follow the scouting report and listen to the coaches,” Joens said.

Iowa State will take on Oklahoma State at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hilton Coliseum. The game will be available to watch on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.