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Iowa State Daily

Long break helps Cyclones regroup ahead of busy Thanksgiving week

Nyamer+Diew+dribbles+the+ball+up-court+at+the+Iowa+State+vs.+Drake+game%2C+Knapp+Center+in+Des+Moines%2C+Iowa%2C+Nov.+12%2C+2023.
Josue Aleman
Nyamer Diew dribbles the ball up-court at the Iowa State vs. Drake game, Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa, Nov. 12, 2023.

Following a road loss to Drake, Iowa State women’s basketball had eight days to regroup and reset before heading back home to take on Southern on Monday.

“It was our first loss, we didn’t lose over the summer in Italy, we didn’t lose any of the scrimmages,” Nyamer Diew said. “I’m excited to see how we come back, how we bounce back from that.”

Diew also expressed that she was looking forward to coming back to Ames and playing with her teammates.

“The fact that we get to play at home is another thing. We don’t ever take it for granted playing at Hilton, so I’m super excited to be with this group and go out there,” Diew said.

Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly talked about the importance of preparing over the week since the season will start to pick up pace soon.

“This is really the last time, maybe until Christmas, where we can actually get a couple of practice days in to get better for us, because then the games just start flying in,” Fennelly said.

Entering Monday’s game, Southern is 0-4 having not played a home game. All four losses were to Power Five opponents, including No. 21 Baylor and No. 21 Texas, two teams Iowa State will face later in the year during conference play.

Compared to Iowa State, Southern has an experienced lineup. Of its 15 players, the youngest is a sophomore and the other 14 are either junior classification or older.

Southern has a fairly short roster as well. The Jaguars have 11 guards, two centers and two forwards on their roster.

“Sometimes it’s an advantage. Sometimes it’s a disadvantage because the matchup for our big kids isn’t as good,” Fennelly said.

Cyclone freshmen Kelsey Joens and Audi Crooks are ready to embrace the challenge. Joens is focused on knowing the strengths of the Jaguars, and Crooks thinks the post game will benefit Iowa State.

“Knowing the personnel of each player, knowing what their strengths are and what to do to stop them, that’s been a huge thing that we’ve been talking about,” Joens said.

“I think that will definitely be something that we benefit from in the post,” Crooks said.

Iowa State returns home to play Southern at 6:30 p.m. Monday. The game will be streamed live on ESPN +.

After the Southern game, the team will take the trip out west to Las Vegas for the South Point Shootout. Vanderbilt and Syracuse await Iowa State in what will be the first games against Power Five schools for the Cyclones.

The Cyclones will play Vanderbilt at 1:30 p.m. Friday and Syracuse at 1 p.m. Saturday. Both games can be found on FloHoops.

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