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Iowa State Daily

Belanger and Diew to be honored at senior night, Ryan set to return another year

Nyamer+Diew+and+her+teammates+prior+to+the+game+against+UNI+at+Hilton+Coliseum+on+Dec.+20%2C+2023.
Tyler Coe
Nyamer Diew and her teammates prior to the game against UNI at Hilton Coliseum on Dec. 20, 2023.

The Iowa State women’s basketball team has one game left in the regular season as Cincinnati will come to town Saturday when the two will square off for the first time as conference opponents.

A lot is at stake for the Cyclones in terms of seeding for the Big 12 Tournament. With a win, Iowa State would be a top-four seed and clinch a double-bye, while a loss could drop the Cyclones as low as sixth in the standings.

“It would be an amazing thing to get if that were to happen,” Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said. “It really doesn’t happen until we do our job [Saturday]. Everyone knows that.”

Saturday’s game will have a bigger purpose as seniors Hannah Belanger and Nyamer Diew will be honored for senior night. Fennelly said the senior night festivities will happen after the game.

Senior Emily Ryan announced a return for a fifth year over social media Friday.

“4 years wasn’t enough. Let’s run it back, Cyclone Nation,” the post states.

Diew spent her freshman year at Butler and transferred to Iowa State where she has played for the last three seasons. Belanger played four seasons at Truman State and transferred to Iowa State for an extra season obtained through COVID rules.

Over her years at Iowa State, Diew became a leader, even more this season with the large class of freshmen that came in.

“If you look back at the end of last year, [Diew] was a huge factor for us,” Fennelly said. “I’m hoping she feels good and she’s ready… Hopefully [Diew] can finish this thing in a similar way to last year”

Belanger quickly was thrust into a unique role on the team. Like the freshmen, Belanger was new to Iowa State, but she brought years of college basketball experience.

That experience was needed early in the season with Ryan out due to injury. Belanger immediately proved she could be a difference maker for the Cyclones.

Belanger has scored over 10 in 13 games. She is the top 3-point shooter for the Cyclones, going 60-for-161 on the season for a 37.3% 3-point percentage and has been a go-to when the Cyclones need a spark.

After four years at a Division II school, Belanger proved her abilities in her lone season at Iowa State.

“I’ve just had a long journey,” Belanger said. “This was kind of everything I’ve dreamt of. To wrap it up here, it’s truly a dream. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Belanger and Diew will get one last game at Hilton Coliseum as Iowa State hosts Cincinnati at 1 p.m. Saturday. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+.

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