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Iowa State Daily

Three Big Takeaways: Audi Crooks has another career night, Cyclones snap losing streak

Maeley Rosengren
Audi Crooks looks to pass the ball at the Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State women’s basketball game at Hilton Coliseum, Jan. 31, 2024.

After ending what was a long and tough three-game road streak that ended up giving Iowa State its first three conference losses, the Cyclones ended the losing streak by taking down Oklahoma State 78-67.

The Cyclones got the opportunity to end the skid they were in, as they hosted Oklahoma State on Wednesday night for their second matchup of the season, as Iowa State looked to get back on the right track.

Led by center Audi Crooks, the Cyclones picked up a huge win over the Cowgirls to potentially give life to a team that looked down following their woes on the road.

Crooks bulldozes competition, breaks yet another career-high

Crooks has been a force to be reckoned with over these past couple of weeks, even despite Iowa State’s recent road stretch. She continues to make magic happen from inside the paint.

Crooks finished her night breaking yet another career high with 29 points, which led the Cyclones to a bounce-back home win over the Cowgirls Wednesday night.

Crooks is now on a three-game streak where she’s averaged at least 25 points per game, while also averaging over 10 rebounds a game.

“I’m just happy to contribute any way that I can, whether it be scoring or distributing the ball, that can help contribute to a Cyclones win,” Crooks said.

Other Cyclones contribute in big ways

While Crooks may have finished the night with the main headline with a new career high, multiple other Iowa State players made huge impacts.

Guard Emily Ryan and forward Addy Brown finished with near triple-doubles, while guard Arianna Jackson provided a boost off the bench with her 14-point night.

Ryan accredited her and the teams’ success to Crooks, as having Crooks in the paint getting all the attention gave way to more opportunities for Ryan and the rest of the Cyclones’ roster.

“I think a big part of it came from how [Crooks] was incredible from inside all night long, to the point where they had to start sending more bodies at her which opened up a lot for [Jackson], [Brown] and myself,” Ryan said.

While Ryan fell short of reaching double-digit points, she still dished out a season-high 14 assists which attributed to Iowa State’s success getting in front of Oklahoma State in the end.

Three-game losing streak snaps at home

There was no question that Iowa State had to eventually break the funk that they were in following a tough three-game road losing streak.

Having the ability to host a conference game for the first time since Jan. 13 was critical for the Cyclones if they wanted to get back on the right track.

The team took full advantage of having the opportunity to play a home game in front of a great Hilton Coliseum crowd, which helped break the losing streak while also sweeping the season series against Oklahoma State in grand fashion.

Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly knows that this game felt like a “must-win” game after suffering a three-game losing streak, so having the ability to get the win on Wednesday helped to boost the teams’ confidence levels going forward.

“I’m not a big must-win guy, but if you look at the grand scheme of things, this was pretty damn close to that,” Fennelly said. “I told our older kids that I usually pick five games that could swing our season, and this was the second of the five.”

Now that the Cyclones have broken their losing streak, they now have the opportunity to get back to their winning ways at a key point in their season.

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  • J

    Jane Madden | Feb 1, 2024 at 7:00 pm

    These Cyclone Ladies are quite a force to be reckoned with. Audi is honing her game on the regular. As well as the rest of the team. Their comradarie is stellar!! Congrats ladies!! ❤️

  • M

    Michael Bugeja | Feb 1, 2024 at 4:33 am

    Good coverage. I like how the interviews mapped the court strategy. Kudos to Cyclone women.