Bryanna Fernstrom nears triple-double in win against Northern Arizona


Sophomore center Bryanna Fernstrom boxes out the Southern defender to grab the rebound. Fernstrom had nine points and three rebounds in 14 minutes in the 86-46 win Dec. 6. 

Trey Alessio

The ISU women’s basketball team started focusing on December after starting the season 2-3. Since then, the team has won five straight games. 

It wasn’t easy against Northern Arizona on Tuesday at Hilton Coliseum, but sophomore Bryanna Fernstrom and the Cyclones got the job done, winning 79-63, to extend that streak to six games. 

Iowa State picked up on Northern Arizona’s mismatch with Fernstrom early on. She had nine points and three blocks at the end of the first half, but she wasn’t close to being done.

“When we scouted, they said the post was going baseline, which she did,” Fernstrom said. “I just put my hands up in the air, and [the Northern Arizona player] just shot it in my hands. I wasn’t really swatting, she just kind of shot it in my hands,” 

The Cyclones wanted to attack the basket because they recognized that Northern Arizona only had one true inside presence.

However, Iowa State couldn’t pull away from Northern Arizona. The Lumberjacks kept beating the Cyclones with backdoor cuts to the rim in the third quarter.

But a 3-pointer from senior Kidd Blaskowsky, a block by Fernstrom and a fight for the ball that went in Iowa State’s favor helped the Cyclones go on a 7-0 run to close out the quarter. 

In the ISU huddle heading into the fourth quarter, one of the players mentioned the comeback against Iowa that helped Iowa State take the lead and eventually a victory. 

“With the quarter system, you feel like you segment the game a little bit more. You’ve got to find a way to win,” Fennelly said. “We’ve never been a team that’s the most aesthetic at times. We usually try, and we usually compete. You’ve got to invent ways sometimes.

“We didn’t make a lot of shots, but I think we made big shots. I think when you make big shots, and you play in front of the crowd we play in front of, you give yourself a chance.”

Iowa State found its way in the final quarter. Fernstrom took over and racked up the swats. She finished the game with a school-record nine blocks. 

Fernstrom also had a 14-point second half and finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds. She was one block short of getting a triple-double.

When she came off the court late in the fourth quarter, ISU assistant coach Billy Fennelly told her she was one block away from a triple-double.

“Sorry,” Fernstrom replied.

They both shared a laugh and watched as Iowa State sealed the victory. 

The win gives the Cyclones a six-game winning streak to finish out their non-conference schedule.  The team is one win away from keeping a zero in the loss column for December. 

The Cyclones will travel to Manhattan, Kan. on Dec. 30 to take on Kansas State and try to remain perfect in December.