Last week, it was ‘win the week.’ This week, Iowa State will try to, ‘battle before the break.’
The Iowa State women’s basketball team picked up a pair of big wins last week at Hilton Coliseum in conference play to propel them to fourth place in the Big 12 standings after 11 games.
Next up for the Cyclones is a pair of road games against teams that came into Hilton and knocked off Iowa State earlier in the year.
The first comes on Wednesday in a contest against Texas (7:00 p.m. Longhorn Network).
“This week, it’s kind of more of a, ‘We’ve got to battle before the break,’ kind of thing,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “We play at Texas and at TCU and then our open day comes, so we’ve got to lace them up really tight and see what happens.”
The difference between the weeks, aside from the setting, is that Iowa State will be playing with a limited Ashley Joens.
The sophomore star dislocated her shoulder in Iowa State’s game against Oklahoma but was able to have it relocated and returned to the floor to help clinch the victory.
Joens sat out of practice on Monday and was limited in her action on Tuesday, however, Fennelly and his staff see nothing that will keep her from playing on Wednesday.
“She was sore, obviously, which makes sense,” Fennelly said. “I don’t think she could pitch tonight if she had to go a couple of innings, but she’s as tough as they come. I don’t anticipate any changes in her role on the team or her minutes.”
Fennelly hopes that they can sneak in some extra rest for her with an off-day planned for Thursday as well as the six-day break between Sunday’s game with TCU and the next one.
Although, Joens isn’t worried about her shoulder – or the pain.
She’s a gamer, and it’s a big reason as to why she is in the top 5 in the Big 12 in rebounding and leads the conference in scoring overall.
“It feels pretty good,” Joens said. “It’s just a little sore. It will go away. We’ll keep going. It was probably good just to get some rest, but I’m excited to play (Wednesday).”
Joens and the Cyclones will be tasked with facing one of the more physical teams in the Big 12.
When Iowa State lost to the Longhorns at Hilton, it was evident which team was controlling the play away from the ball.
“They got into us pretty good up here and we didn’t handle it great,” Fennelly said. “We’re going to have to do a better job of that, and I think our team understands (that). We’re going to have to do a lot better of a job executing.”
The team knows what they need to do.
The question just remains on if they can come through in different ways like they have all season.
“We know that it’s going to be tough and that they’re going to come out and give it everything,” Joens said. “They already beat us once, so they think they can do it again. We just have to know that they are going to come out and play physical.”
Texas has won six of its past seven games with the lone loss being to No. 2 Baylor.
Although, all six of those wins came against teams with Big 12 records below .500.
Wednesday will be a big opportunity for the Cyclones to take advantage of and they know what’s at stake.
“We can play with anybody in this league,” junior Kristin Scott said. “We’re going in with a good mindset.”
|Big 12 WBB Standings|
Upcoming Big 12 Schedule
Tuesday, February 11
6:00 p.m. | Kansas State (4-6) @ West Virginia (4-6)
7:00 p.m. | Oklahoma State (4-7) @ Oklahoma (5-6)
Wednesday, February 12
7:00 p.m. | Iowa State (6-5) @ Texas (7-3)
7:00 p.m. | TCU (8-2) @ Baylor (10-0)
7:00 p.m. | Kansas (1-10) @ Texas Tech (3-7)
Saturday, February 15
4:00 p.m. | Texas Tech (3-7) @ West Virginia
6:00 p.m. | Texas (7-3) @ Kansas (1-10)
7:00 p.m. | Baylor (10-0) @ Oklahoma State (4-7)
Sunday, February 16
Noon | Iowa State (6-5) @ TCU (8-2)
2:00 p.m. | Kansas State (4-6) @ Oklahoma (5-6)