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Iowa State Daily

Iowa State enters final stretch of the season, hosts Gustin, BYU

Addy+Brown+runs+to+the+Iowa+State+bench+after+Baylor+calls+a+timeout+at+Hilton+Coliseum+on+Jan.+13%2C+2024.
Tyler Coe
Addy Brown runs to the Iowa State bench after Baylor calls a timeout at Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 13, 2024.

As Iowa State enters its final three games of the regular season, the Cyclones see themselves hosting BYU Saturday night for the first time in program history.

Both teams squared off against each other back on Jan. 6, where Iowa State pulled out a narrow 80-75 win over the Cougars in Provo, Utah.

Since Jan. 6, both BYU and the Cyclones’ seasons have been all but perfect as they both prepare to enter a rematch at Hilton Coliseum on Saturday night.

The Cougars have not had their ideal first season in the Big 12 season thus far, as they currently sit with a 5-10 conference record, which is tied for 10th place in the Big 12.

It certainly does not help BYU at this point in the season that it has to travel to Ames, Iowa, to take on Iowa State, as the Cougars have gone 3-8 on the road, which is among one of the worst road records in the conference.

But one thing that has stood true for BYU all season long has come from the play of forward Lauren Gustin who currently leads the Big 12 in rebounds with an average of 15.3 a game. Gustin also currently sits as a top-five scorer in the conference (17.3), as she has snagged a double-double in all but two games this season.

Gustin proved to be a problem in the Cougars’ last matchup versus the Cyclones as she put up the same amount of points as rebounds in their loss to Iowa State (14).

When asked about planning for a team his squad has not faced since the beginning of January, Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly explained the advantages and disadvantages of preparing for BYU again.

“That’s a hard one [to figure out],” Fennelly said. “You look really hard at the video from the first game, but that was a long time ago. They haven’t had any roster changes, so it hasn’t changed their style dramatically which helps us personnel-wise.”

Forward Addy Brown had her way with the Cougars in their last matchup, as she posted a career-high while leading the Cyclones with 24 points back in early January.

Brown will look forward to once again besting the team she dominated in Provo, Utah, as she prepares to give BYU its first proper Hilton Coliseum greeting in its program’s history.

“They’ve gotten a lot better throughout the season since the first time we played them earlier in the season,” Brown said. “You look at their scores, they’ve had some really close games against some really good teams, so we’re excited to have them at Hilton.”

While Iowa State may be riding a high after beating Houston on the road Wednesday night, guard Emily Ryan reminded her young team to stay focused on what is coming next and not think about what lies ahead.

“I think the biggest message that we’ve said is that you can’t let the moment get too big,” Ryan said. “You gotta take it one game at a time, one practice at a time and just try and embrace being 1-0 in practice or in a game.”

It will not be an easy task for Iowa State to take both matchups versus this BYU squad, as the Cougars will be looking to get revenge on the team that gave them one of their earliest conference losses.

The rematch between BYU and the Cyclones will tip-off at 6 p.m. Saturday at Hilton Coliseum. The game will also be streamed on ESPN+.

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