Iowa State looks to put up another dominant performance against TCU


Daniel Jacobi II

Emily Ryan attempts an inbound play towards the end of the game against Texas in Hilton Coliseum on Feb. 13, 2023.

Payne Blazevich, Sports Reporter

As the regular season draws to a close, No. 20 Iowa State looks to take advantage of a key opportunity at home against TCU Saturday.

The Cyclones are coming off a physical, hard-fought road battle against Oklahoma State Wednesday night. They were able to work their way back from a deficit, but the team ultimately fell short in the final few minutes. 

Still, Iowa State matched the Cowgirls’ three-point shooting, and center Morgan Kane was able to put together one of her best performances of the season. 

Even in the loss, the Cyclones made progress, and it’s going to matter in the final few games of the season. 

“You can play well and lose a game, and still feel like you’re making progress,” head coach Bill Fennelly said. 

After a stretch of close losses in early February, Iowa State picked up a little late-season momentum, taking down No. 17 Texas and Baylor in double overtime. Despite falling short, 73-68 in Stillwater, the Cyclones feel like there was progress made. 

Iowa State was able to connect on eight triples in the matchup, and while the Cyclones struggled to finish on takes to the basket, they were able to play through some physicality from Oklahoma State. 

As the game progressed, Iowa State was able to shoot its way back into contention, earning an opportunity to tie the game with a final shot from guard Lexi Donarski, which ultimately fell short. 

“I don’t know if there’s been too many games where we left and felt like we didn’t have a chance to win the game, so that’s a good sign,” Fennelly said. 

The Cyclones were also able to rely on Kane in the post position to deal with the dirty work down low. Fennelly said Kane’s role on the team has been flexible all season, but when Iowa State needed a presence in the paint, Kane delivered with a season-high 16 points. 

Physicality down low was a key need for Iowa State in last year’s postseason. Although Kane can adjust her role to best fit Iowa State’s scheme, she was able to thrive in the paint against the Cowgirls. 

“It’s important to know your role, and every game changes,” Kane said. “Just preparing every game to know that, wherever I’m needed, I’m going to go in with the same enthusiasm and excitement.”

Iowa State relied on production from Kane in the post against TCU earlier this season. This time around, Kane and the Cyclones will look to put up another dominant performance. 

The last time Iowa State faced the Horned Frogs, the game was decided well before the final buzzer. A 29-point burst in the third quarter helped Iowa State to a 75-35 win in Fort Worth Jan. 25.

With three Big 12 games remaining, Iowa State is in need of a similar result in order to finish strong before the conference and NCAA tournaments in March. 

“It’s always big, you wanna finish everything in a positive way,” Fennelly said. “There’s a lot of [teams] playing this week because they have to; we’re playing because there’s something to play for.”