Iowa State looks to bounce back against Oklahoma State


Daniel Jacobi II

The Iowa State bench comes off of the bench during a timeout to celebrate with the other five players during the game against Kansas State in Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 11, 2023.

Although the Cyclones left Texas with a bad taste in their mouths following the 68-53 loss on Sunday, they will get the chance to bounce back when they host Oklahoma State Wednesday night.

Going into the season, Texas was one of the teams expected to be a roadblock throughout the year. Texas’ physicality last season caused Iowa State to leave every meeting empty-handed.

The addition of Master’s University transfer Stephanie Soares was supposed to give the Cyclones the upper hand in the paint, where Texas dominated. However, just two games before the matchup with the Longhorns, Soares went down with an ACL injury that would sideline her for the remainder of the season.

Without Soares’ huge contribution, the Cyclones were bullied all day by the Longhorns. The lockdown defense, mixed with the full-court pressure, was too much for the Cyclones to handle as they returned home with a second loss in conference play.

Despite the final scoreline boasting a double-digit loss, Iowa State was able to hang with Texas through the majority of the game. It wasn’t until the final quarter that Texas started to pull away.

The Cyclones were uncharacteristically cold from the field, hitting just 40% of their shots from the field and under 27% from beyond the arc. Along with that, they were shooting under 64% from the free-throw line, where they dominated this season.

Going into the game, the Cyclones were the No. 1 free throw shooting team in the nation. But the atmosphere in Austin, Texas, proved too distracting for the Cyclones to get the job done from the line.

Despite the cold shooting night, Sunday’s game was a learning experience for what could be the new face of the 2022-23 Cyclones without Soares. Ashley Joens did what was asked of her, putting up 21 points by the end of the night.

Other Cyclones also got a chance to shine, with Morgan Kane and Nyamer Diew getting an uptick in minutes. The Cyclone that has grown with each appearance on the court looked to be Izzi Zingaro, who played for 18 minutes and put up six points and four boards in her time.

As the Cyclones continue to get reps on the court with different lineups, players should get more comfortable in their roles.

Although a loss is always tough, the Cyclones have their eyes set on the next challenge at hand: Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma State is also sitting at a 3-2 record in the Big 12, with some impressive wins on its resume. Oklahoma State came out on top of Texas and Baylor, who are both teams that cause Iowa State issues.

With how deep the Big 12 is, no game will be a walk in the park. The Cyclones are undefeated at home so far through the season, thanks to the atmosphere that Hilton Coliseum brings.

Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly constantly praises the talent in the Big 12 and how competitive the conference is this season. No team is safe from an upset, even on their home turf, so every game will be a battle.

As Wednesday night rolls around, the Cyclones will have to be on top of things if they want to stay flawless in front of their home crowd.

The matchup between Iowa State and Oklahoma State is set to start at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Ames. The game will also be streamed live on ESPN+.