The teams couldn't have started the season any different. Iowa State enters Sunday's game (2 p.m.) against Cal State Fullerton 7-0 and ranked 20th in the AP poll. The Cyclones are defeating their opponent by an average of 27.1 points.
The Cal State Fullerton Titans limp into Hilton Coliseumwith just one win (1-6), losers of their last three, by an average of 12 points.
The obvious distraction heading into this matchup is the return Steven Fennelly, the son of the Cyclones head coach Bill Fennelly. Steven was hired as an assistant coach by the Titans this past summer, and this will be his first return to Ames since taking the position. Once the welcome-home handshake and hug takes places before the game, there is still a game to be played — one that the Cyclones should dominate.
Tale of the Tape
The Titans' two leading scorers are both quick guards in 5-foot-3 junior Chante Miles (14.9 points per game) and junior Kathleen Iwuoha (11.2 points per game). Both are shooting close to 50 percent from the field this year and Iwuoha is averaging 5.7 rebounds per game as well, good for second-best on the team. Cyclone guards Nikki Moody and Jadda Buckley will have to keep them in front of them and try make they try and shoot from the outside. As a whole, the Titans are only shooting 26 percent from deep.
Keep an eye on
Fouls. This could be a concern for the Cyclones all season. The team struggled a little when Hallie Christofferson got into foul trouble early against Northern Iowa the last game, and coach Fennelly even said after the game it was a concern. The Titans are deep and will play everyone on their roster. If fouls start to add up, Cal State Fullerton could hold an advantage due to depth.
The crowd will stand and cheer for the pre-game handshake between father and son. However that will be the high point for the Titans on this day. The Cyclones have an advantage in every statistical category. In fact, the Titans average more turnovers than assists on the year. And their tallest player is only 6-1, whereas both Cyclone Centers Christofferson and Madison Baier will have a distinct 2-3 inch advantage inside. I like the Cyclones to win comfortably with the reserves playing the last four minutes of the game. Cyclones, 92-50.