The Iowa State women were tested at home on Wednesday night as they hosted the Illinois State Redbirds. With the help of a late run, the Cyclones (9-1) did get the win 74-67. Senior Lyndsey Medders paced the Cyclone offense, finishing with 18 points and a season-high 11 assists. Junior Toccara Ross scored 17 for the Cyclones, and sophomore Nicky Wieben finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. The media had a chance to talk with Medders and Ross after the game.
This was a tough game for you guys. It had a conference feel to it.
Lyndsey Medders: Anytime you play against someone that coached here and someone who played here, you know they will be familiar with the system. We have watched film and them, and they probably know inside and out of what we do. It was a very intense game. It was physical in the post. They were pretty intense on defense, and both inside and outside it was a physical ball game.
What was going through your head when Illinois State took a 61-59 lead?
Toccara Ross: I was thinking dig deep. They were making a run. Every team is going to make a run on us. We have a target on our back just like any other team that is 9-1. We just had to retaliate and make another run.
It looked like you really wanted the ball late in the game. Was there anything special about getting you the ball?
TR: No, not really. If I got it, I would know what to do with it.
The defense looked much better late in the game than it did earlier on.
LM: We made a concerted effort, and we talked about it in our huddle. There were layups that weren't going in and there were open jump shots that weren't going in. We have won games this year by guarding people, so we told ourselves that it was time to get stops and not let them score. The way we were able to guard on the last couple possessions really helped us seal this win.
Were you surprised with the slow pace of this game?
LM: A little bit. When you are making shots in the half-court, it is hard to get in to your transition. We rely a lot on playing good defense, getting rebounds and pushing the ball up the court. They were getting back in transition and we were getting back in transition. When you send a couple people back and you are not crashing the offensive rebounds that hard, we are not going to put up as many points as we usually do.
Did you guys really have to dig deep down the stretch to pull away and get the win?
LM: I think it is important that we have seven or eight people that when they get on the floor, they can make open shots. The beauty of playing on this team is that everyone is confident to put the ball up at the rim no matter what the score is. I think that is something that is going to help us later on in conference. That is something that we probably lacked last year.
How were you able to sneak in behind the defense a couple of times tonight?
TR: Sometimes their heads are turned and I try to read the defense. If they are not paying attention to me, I try and be a little sneaky.
Other game notes:
-Lyndsey Medders had her second double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 assists. It was the tenth of her career.
-With her 18 points, Medders has 1158 for her career and is tied for 12th on the all-time ISU scoring chart. She now 577 career assists and is 12 shy of the ISU record.
-Megan Ronhovde hit her 200th career three-pointer in Wednesday's ball game. She ranks fourth on the ISU career list.
-Toccara Ross's 17 points marked the eighth time in ten games that she has reached double figures.
-Iowa State's win streak now stands at six. Their 9-1 start is the best since starting 15-1 in the 2004-2005 season.
-Iowa State outrebounded its opponent for the eighth time this season, winning the battle against Illinois State 46-38.