Cyclones getting back to business against TCU


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly watches the Cyclones during their 76-58 win over Oklahoma State on Feb. 5.

Aaron Hickman

After having some time to rest and recharge, Iowa State will be heading to Fort Worth, Texas, for its second matchup with TCU on Saturday.

Head coach Bill Fennelly believes the bye week provided some valuable time for recuperation and preparation.

“Monday and Tuesday were kind of self-scout days, Wednesday was a day off, and then back to our normal two-day prep to get ready for TCU,” Fennelly said. “It was a good mental thing if nothing else. We do have some kids that needed a little extra rest. Now it’s time to go.”

Dominating the matchup by a score of 78-47 at home last month, the film shows a much different Horned Frogs squad than last time around.

Fennelly said that TCU is changing defenses more often and that they play more zone, which the Cyclones haven’t had to face very much this season.

The Horned Frogs also press more than other teams around the Big 12, and their offense looks different than it did in January with more motion and different lineups being implemented.

All of this shows why, despite blowing them out last time, Iowa State can’t afford to look past TCU.

“You can’t think of them as ‘we beat them by 31 points last time’,” Morgan Kane said. “It’s a nameless, faceless opponent and we’re gonna prepare and get ready for them just like any other game. We’re gonna be ready for them and those adjustments.”

Ashley Joens, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds in the teams’ first meeting, is just 44 points away from becoming the career points leader at Iowa State.

Needing to average just 6.3 points-per-game in the seven remaining regular season games to get there, the accomplishment isn’t something that Ashley puts much thought into.

“It’s a team game,” Joens said. “It’s not about individual stats or anything. My teammates and coach Fennelly do a great job of getting me the ball at the right times and in the right spots, so that definitely helps. I mean, we’re out there to win games, so when we win it’s a good day.”

Still tied atop the Big 12 with Oklahoma and Baylor sitting just one game back, the remaining three weeks of the season will be a grind.

Fennelly has told the team that they can finish first or they can finish in the bottom half of the conference based on their performance during this stretch.

Which path ends up being the case will depend on Iowa State’s focus.

“I think the challenge for our team is to really understand now over the next three weeks, you’re focused on school [and] you’re focused on basketball,” Fennelly said. “Nothing else matters right now.”

Tip-off is at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The game can be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.