The independent student newspaper of Iowa State and Ames since 1890

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Cyclones spread the ball around in win over Southern

Josue Aleman
Audi Crooks attempts a layup during the Iowa State vs Southern Women’s Basketball Game, Hilton Coliseum, Nov. 20, 2023.

Iowa State took on Southern Monday night in what was a dominant performance offensively. The Cyclones took down the Jaguars 78-60 thanks to a good mix of offense and defense both inside and outside.

“Overall I thought we got better from the last game. We have to understand what’s in front of us,” head coach Bill Fennelly said.

A strong night on offense is what the Cyclones needed following their loss to Drake last week. Whether the ball was fed inside or outside, it found its way to the basket from multiple players.

The biggest question was how the Cyclones would respond following their first loss. That response would come quickly in the first half from a multitude of 3-pointers early on.

Not only was the perimeter game working, but the postplay was too. Audi Crooks went 8-for-10 from the field with all of her shots coming down low, but she still recognized the inside and outside needed to complement each other.

“If we have that advantage we’re going to use it, but if they start double-teaming then we’re going to get hot from the outside,” Crooks said about the advantages Iowa State had in the post.

Hannah Belanger was the hot hand for the Cyclones. The senior started the game with the first basket, a three, to set the tone for how her night would go.

“Coming out tonight and making that first one, obviously a shooter shoots to stay hot, so hopefully I can continue that but it just felt good to make some,” Belanger said.

Belanger had her best game of the season so far, going 5-for-11 from the field, 4-for-8 from the perimeter, and scored 14 points in 31 minutes.

“[Belanger]’s got a very, very high basketball IQ. We want her to shoot and shoot a lot. She’s capable of making a lot of shots,” Fennelly said. “The one thing she doesn’t get enough credit for is that she’s a very good on-ball defender. I thought she did a really nice job tonight.”

Another player who was successful in shooting from beyond the arc was freshman Kelsey Joens. All nine of Joens’ points came from 3-point range and led the Cyclones with nine rebounds.

Joens found her way into the starting lineup for the first time this season and played 24 minutes. Fennelly said she earned her spot and needs to have more minutes in games.

“Kelsey Joens plays as hard or harder than anyone on our team every play,” Fennelly said. “She’s embraced what we’ve asked her to do and she does it every day.”

As a team, the Cyclones shot 48.4% from the field and 36.7% from three-point range. Addy Brown led scoring with 18 points followed by Audi Crooks with 16.

Crooks sounded off on how the team bounced back after last week.

“There’s going to be outside noise. People are going to question our capability, but the people in our locker room don’t question our capability,” Crooks said.

One issue the Cyclones had all night was turnovers. In all, Iowa State turned the ball over 17 times.

Double-dribbling, traveling, three-second violations and a 10-second violation all plagued Iowa State and did allow Southern to close in on the lead in the second half.

“Double-digit turnovers at halftime can’t happen, especially when our schedule is going to ramp up,” Crooks said.

Fennelly said a lot of the turnovers were mistakes that needed to be cleaned up before the schedule gets tougher.

“I’d say half of those were unforced,” Fennelly said. “It’s got to be better and it’s got to be coached a lot better.”

Even with the large amount of turnovers, the lead built in the first half was enough to keep Iowa State in front and grab a much-needed win.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Iowa State Daily
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of the Iowa State Daily. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, send our student journalists to conferences and off-set their cost of living so they can continue to do best-in-the-nation work at the Iowa State Daily.

More to Discover
Donate to Iowa State Daily
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Iowa State Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *