Close but no cigar: ISU fails on the boards, falls to Texas

Sophomore guard Emily Durr prepares to shoot the ball at the game against University of Texas on Feb. 6. ISU lost 65-49.

Trey Alessio

ISU coach Bill Fennelly said sometimes the stat sheet tells the whole story.

On Saturday, it sure did. The stat sheet showed Iowa State’s lack of rebounding in the 65-49 loss to No. 6 Texas in Hilton Coliseum. 

The Longhorns had seven players over six foot, and it showed on the boards. Texas finished the game with 20 offensive rebounds compared to Iowa State’s five. However, the Cyclones hung with the top-ranked Longhorns early on.

“I thought we were a lot more active early,” Fennelly said. “We were in the right spots. We got confused in the second half a couple of times. When we did get them to miss, we didn’t get an offensive rebound. We made a couple errors and they made us pay.”

Iowa State was tied with Texas at halftime and only allowed four offensive rebounds. The Cyclones only shot 20.7 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from behind the arc in the first half. The Longhorns shot 31 percent from the field in the first half. But Texas came out firing in the second half.

“They obviously came out stronger than us right from the beginning [of the second half,]” said redshirt sophomore Jadda Buckley. “I think they were just crashing the boards, getting rebounds and knocking down open shots.”

Sophomore Emilly Durr said it was tough on the boards against a tall team like Texas. The Longhorns came out and snagged 16 offensive rebounds in the second half.

Despite Iowa State’s lack of offensive rebounding, it found a way to shut down Texas standout Imani Boyette. She averaged 13.4 points per game and has 12 double-doubles on the year, but Iowa State got her into foul trouble and didn’t allow her to score.

But when Boyette had an off-game, Texas guard Ariel Atkins stepped up.

“Atkins is a great player,” Fennelly said. “She really hurt us. That was the one who we didn’t do a very good job on. There was four minutes to go in the game and they had 52 points. I think we’re defending fine. After that, it looked like there were seven of them out there on the boards. We got caught standing around. They went after it and we didn’t.”

Boyette fouled out with 3:32 remaining in the game and Atkins finished with 22 points to help Texas down Iowa State. Saturday marked the first time since 2009 that Texas beat Iowa State in Ames. 

Buckley led Iowa State with 19 points and junior Seanna Johnson finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.

“Texas is a great team. They deserve their ranking,” Fennelly said. “Sometimes the stat sheet tells the story, and when you get out-rebounded the way we got out-rebounded and don’t take care of the ball, don’t make shots—impossible to beat anyone, especially a great team like Texas.”