Cyclones travel to Kansas State searching for revenge and a third scorer

Junior Guard Bridget Carleton scraps for the ball during the Iowa State Vs UC Riverside basketball game Dec 17. The Cyclones Defeated Riverside 89-66

Jack Macdonald

In its last five games, Iowa State has scored 294 points. And in that same span, Emily Durr and Bridget Carleton have accounted for 179 of those points (60.9 percent).

For Carleton and Durr to carry a team like that is unheard of in college basketball. And when the Cyclones (9-13, 3-8 Big 12) travel to Kansas State (12-10, 4-7 Big 12) on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tip, they will need more than just Carleton and Durr to score.

“It’s important to take that shot [when you’re open],” said junior Meredith Burkhall. “Coach always says don’t pass up good shots.”

The third option — at times — has popped up for the Cyclones, but every time it vanishes in a blink of an eye. It started with sophomore Adriana Camber, but that didn’t last long. And then it shifted to freshman Madison Wise, but no luck again.

“We had kids that didn’t want the ball. We had kids that didn’t want to do anything with the ball,” said coach Bill Fennelly. “When Bridget’s triple-teamed and she throws it to someone, we gotta make a shot and gotta make a play.”

It’s a problem that Fennelly has acknowledged all season long, most recently in the 75-52 loss to TCU. In that game, Durr and Carleton scored 21 points and 12 points, respectively.

And for the rest of the team?

Camber had five points, Wise had none and Burkhall had four. That trio has accounted for the majority of Iowa State’s scoring behind the two leading the team. Those three have especially felt a need to step up due to Bride Kennedy-Hopoate being out with an injury and Kristin Scott seeing limited minutes following a head injury.

“We’ve just been working with who we have so far,” Burkhall said of Kennedy-Hopoate and Scott’s absence. “We all have to step up a little bit more because [Bride’s] out.”

The problem even cost them a win when the Wildcats escaped Hilton Coliseum with a comeback win in early January. Again, it was a two-woman show for the Cyclones. As it is every game, Carleton was one of the leaders while Kennedy-Hopoate scored 17 points in the second half to pace the Cyclones.

“It’s critical that we got someone [to score],” Fennelly said. “Bride won’t play and unfortunately for her that was probably the best game she played all year when we played K-State here.

“We’ve kind of had that two-player show up kind of thing lately and certainly if we see a triangle and two defense, the third one better show up or you might get shut out.”

But K-State brings a style of play that many teams the Cyclones have faced don’t possess. The Wildcats play a mixture of zone and man-to-man, which can be interchangeable between one possession.

Iowa State saw TCU play an aggressive zone defense that extended to half court, so if the Wildcats were able to watch film on that, then the Cyclones will be in for a long day against the K-State defense.

However, the Cyclones know what it will take to get their revenge win.

“Just focus on what we do,” Camber said. “We’ve just gotta stay composed and run our plays and stay focused on us.”