Cyclones Struggle in Exhibition Win

The Iowa State women's basketball team looked very sluggish in the first half of their final exhibition game against Upper Iowa, but the Cyclones pulled away from those pesky Peacocks in the second half to coast to a 68-42 victory.

"I told the team after the game that we need to learn if we are going to be the team from the first half or the team from the second half. That's the challenge right now," head coach Bill Fennelly said after the game. "There is a lot of work to be done, but that is what these (exhibition) games are designed to do. I think we learned a lot from these games, and we had a chance to play a lot of kids."


The Cyclones played great defense in tonight's game, holding Upper Iowa to 22 percent shooting in the second half and 27 percent for the game. The Peacocks did not score until Amanda Faas hit a jumper with 14:35 remaining in the first half, but the Cyclones could only manage a two point, 25-23 lead at the break.


Iowa State quickly pulled away in the second half though with a 17-6 run in the first seven minutes.


Iowa State was led on the night by sophomore forward Nicky Wieben, who finished the game with 14 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Lyndsey Medders was the only other Cyclone in double figures, finishing with 12 points to go along with six assists and five boards.


Redshirt freshman Rachel Pierson saw her first action of the season after missing the first exhibition game with mono-like symptoms. She played 13 minutes and scored eight points but also turned the ball over three times.


"It was neat to see her out there. The kid has been through so much," Fennelly said. "She is something that we don't have. She's a true strong, physical, back to the basket post player. She is critical to the success of our team because she fills a role that no one else can fill."


The biggest concern in the game was an injury to sophomore guard Heather Ezell. About midway through the second half, Ezell was kicked in the head when she fell to the court and left the game with an apparent concussion. She is questionable for Wednesday's season opener.


Another concern from tonight's game was the less than mediocre three-point shooting from the Cyclones. They made just three of their 15 attempts from downtown and did not hit one until five minutes in to the second half.


The Cyclones open the regular season on Wednesday when they play host to Cal State Fullerton at 7:30 p.m.


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