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Iowa State Daily

Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones unable to finish dramatic comeback in loss to Drake

Josue Aleman
Hannah Belanger pushes against defender at the Iowa State vs. Drake game, Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa, Nov. 12, 2023.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa State got off to a slow start on its first road trip of the season against Drake and was forced to rely on its young team to deliver a comeback.

The Cyclones fell to the Bulldogs following a failed comeback attempt, in which they led for the first time all game with just over five minutes left in the game.

Here are the three big takeaways from Iowa State’s 85-73 loss versus Drake.

Poor shooting early costs Cyclones late

In the first half alone, Iowa State struggled to get shots to go in the basket, as this was a key to its loss at the end of the day against Drake. The Cyclones went 7-for-27 from the field in the first half and made zero 3-point shots on seven attempts.

The main killer was in the second quarter for Iowa State. It put up four total points in the second quarter, as it did not make a single shot other than free throws.

Center Audi Crooks finished her game with a career-high 23 points, as she was one of the bright spots in this game that had a lot of ups and downs.

Crooks gave her thoughts on the way her team fell into a slump early on that led to an eventual loss on the road.

“We knew it was gonna be a battle coming into it, but we can’t let ourselves get down in the way we did in the first half,” Crooks said.

With this poor performance, Iowa State fell into an 18-point deficit at halftime, mustering up 20 points in the first half.

Iowa State falls deep into foul trouble

Coming into this game, the Cyclones were a team that looked disciplined and did not fall into any foul trouble at all against Butler. But in their loss against Drake, that was not the case.

Three Iowa State players finished the game with at least four fouls, the headliner being forward Addy Brown who fouled out of the game with less than three minutes in the fourth quarter.

“It did hurt us. Historically we haven’t been a team who fouls a lot, so we’ve got to get better,” Fennelly said.

Besides the three players who got a minimum of four fouls, almost every Cyclone committed at least one foul during the game, which led Drake to the free-throw line for 27 attempts.

Too little, too late in the end

While it may have seemed that Drake had all the momentum coming into the second half following an 18-point lead, the Cyclones were not willing to lie down and let the game finish as is.

Iowa State came out firing right away in the third quarter, as it went 11-for-17 in field goal attempts following the end of the quarter. Five of those shots were 3-point makes; the Cyclones had not hit a 3-pointer prior to the third quarter.

Guard Hannah Belanger scored eight of her 11 points in the third quarter, as she reaffirmed her stance on the potential of the team when they can play well like they did in this quarter.

“When we played the right way in the third quarter, things began to click, and it showed that we really are a good team,” Belanger said.

Iowa State did not have the lead all game until midway through the fourth quarter, when it got a two-point lead over Drake that looked like the Cyclones would pull away with this game.

But the Bulldogs ended up getting hot at the right time, as Drake hit some big shots down the stretch to put the final nail in the coffin for Iowa State.

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    Benjamin Bell | Nov 13, 2023 at 2:06 am

    Cory Jackson highlights?