West Virginia’s Muldrow out-duels Iowa State’s Durr

Senior Guard Emily Durr drives breaks thought two players during the Iowa State Vs UC Riverside basketball game Dec 17. The Cyclones Defeated Riverside 89-66

Jack Macdonald

Emily Durr is Iowa State’s senior leader. Win or lose, she’s the voice of the team. And in tonight’s case, a 10-point loss to No. 17 West Virginia, her role started as a bench player. 

But simply put: Durr is a player you want on the floor. But tonight, she started on the bench. A place that was only a familiarity when she first got to Ames four years ago. The Utica, New York, native was relegated to the bench at halftime of the Cyclones’ 79-50 loss to No. 4 Baylor on Wednesday night. 

It wasn’t until a good portion of time had elapsed in the game that she got the nod. After sitting out for two full quarters and seven minutes and nine seconds, Iowa State’s senior leader was back. 

“I just tried to be a spark off the bench,” Durr said. “I’ve been struggling the past couple of games. I totally agreed with coach’s decision to put me on the bench.”

And boy did she make an impact. Durr collected two rebounds in a little over a minute and then she rested in a layup to cut the Mountaineers’ lead to two. Then, when West Virginia was on an 8-0 run in the second quarter, Durr single-handedly ended that run. 

No. 3 hit two free throws and a 3-pointer to cut the run and the deficit to 11 in just seconds. When it was all said and done, Durr had scored 12 of the Cyclones’ last 17 points and all but two of their points in the second quarter.

“I just went out there and made a few shots, which was nice,” Durr said. “But just couldn’t come up with the win.”

Durr eventually cooled off, making just one of her 11 shot attempts in the second half — the definition of Katy Perry’s hit song Hot N’ Cold. While Durr was struggling, Teana Muldrow of West Virginia couldn’t miss in the 69-59 win. 

Muldrow is third in the Big 12 in scoring and flexed her muscles all over the Cyclones en route to finishing with 27 points. Muldrow, at 6-foot-1, also snagged 11 boards. 

“West Virginia just physically manhandled us,” said Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly. “We didn’t handle it very well. We continue to struggle to shoot and we continue to struggle to find ways to score when we really need to score.”

Despite the manhandling, Iowa State nearly mounted a comeback. However, when you miss six of your last eight shots, it’s hard to complete that comeback. No one knows that more than junior Bridget Carleton who missed two shots in a row down the stretch and needed to be bailed out by two underclassmen. 

“We can go on runs and we have the power to kind of go on [short runs],” Carleton said. “When we hit a couple threes in a row, like we get that energy back.”

Carleton was right, there were the mini runs. Nia Washington and Rae Johnson answered each other and drilled two 3-pointers in a row while Carleton and Durr went cold. Unfortunately, those short runs Carleton spoke of came too sooner rather than later in the game. 

Going forward, the runs will need to come sooner and more often with three quality opponents remaining in Iowa State’s current five-game stretch. There’s only two answers to finding those runs and it starts with offense and defense. 

“Our philosophy is always take the first available shot we can take,” Fennelly said. “We’ve always been a team that shoots the three and the other thing is our post players need to do a much better job of wanting the ball.”