No. 11 Cyclones prepare for competitive rematch with No. 25 Kansas State


Iowa State point guard Emily Ryan celebrates after a made shot in the Cyclones’ 77-62 win over Kansas on Jan. 26.

Andrew Harrington

The first time Iowa State faced off against Kansas State on Jan. 11, the Cyclones trailed by 11 at the half, yet they managed to come back to win 73-70.

This time around, No. 25 Kansas State has its eyes on redemption, and a competitive rematch is expected to take place in Hilton Coliseum.

The biggest storyline surrounding Kansas State is star player Ayoka Lee. Averaging 25 points per game, Lee leads the Big 12 in scoring while averaging the second-most rebounds with 10.7.

Lee not only scored an NCAA Division I women’s basketball record 61 points in a game against Oklahoma recently, but she scored 38 the last time that these two teams met.

Dominance is nothing new for Lee, who is now in her third collegiate season, so Iowa State Head Coach Bill Fennelly is focusing on just containing her the best that they can rather than completely changing defensive strategies in hopes of shutting her down.

“When you play a great player, you’ve got to make sure that the great player doesn’t play great. That they have another good game, and she gets her 20…whatever and we move on,” Fennelly said.

Fennelly discussed playing against players with size over the years, including players such as Brittney Griner, saying that it is tough to guard players that can continually rebound their own misses and put it back in.

Kansas State is currently 16-5 with a 6-3 record in conference play. This record put the Wildcats a game off of the top spot in the Big 12, which is shared between Iowa State and Oklahoma at 7-2.

Fennelly has a lot of respect for this Kansas State team, believing that this is one of the toughest teams in the conference to beat.

“They’re a top-25 team, the NCAA committee had them 16th, so I’m not the only one that think they’re good, and arguably in Ayoka Lee they might have the leading candidate for player of the year.”

The game is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and will be broadcast on ESPN+.