No. 11 Cyclones aim for another sweep against Oklahoma State


Iowa State junior Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw shoots a three-pointer in the Cyclones’ 77-62 win over Kansas on Jan. 26.

Aaron Hickman

Another season-sweep could be on the horizon for Iowa State women’s basketball as they welcome Oklahoma State to Hilton Coliseum on Saturday.

Coming off of a season-sweep of Kansas State on Wednesday, the team understands the importance of taking both games against conference opponents.

“Sweeps are really important to us,” sophomore guard Lexi Donarski said. “We’re trying to get as many Big 12 wins as we can, so a sweep is a big step in that direction.”

Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw also talked about how good it would be to claim two sweeps so early in the Big 12 schedule, as there are still eight games left in the season.

Teams make changes and can look quite different when second meetings take place, but Espenmiller-McGraw believes the team has a pretty good idea of what they’re up against.

In her third year at Iowa State, she’s learned that every team has their own style that you can prepare for.

“It’s fun playing them a second time,” Espenmiller-McGraw said. “Every team makes little adjustments, but we kind of know how they play and that helps scouting-wise. We can focus a little bit more on our game plan and what we need to do to get a win.”

Facing a Cowgirls squad that has lost seven in a row and nine of their last 10, it’s important for the Cyclones to make sure they don’t get caught underestimating their opponent.

In the teams’ first meeting last month, a 16-point lead at the end of the first quarter helped propel Iowa State to a 74-60 win in Stillwater.

Oklahoma State will be hungry for a win, but Head Coach Bill Fennelly said his team is made of the right stuff to get the job done.

“I say this often and bore everyone, but we are a next 40 minute, next chapter team,” Fennelly said. “Our kids are smart enough. We try and give them examples all the time of what can happen if you don’t show up and play well.”

“We only have four games left at Hilton, so if you’re not excited to play in one of those four then you need to turn your jersey into the equipment manager and go play somewhere else, I guess,” Fennelly said.

Tip-off is at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Hilton Coliseum. The game can be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.