With the 2015-16 season in full swing, there are plenty of nuggets and notables to catch you up on. I hope you enjoy this hoops update.
Cyclones Making December Count
After a rough November in which Iowa State suffered its most losses under head coach Bill Fennelly (three), the Cyclones have wiped the slate clean in the month of December and are currently riding a four-game winning streak. If the Cyclones finish December 7-0, it would mark the fifth time under Fennelly the Cyclones tallied a perfect December. Iowa State faces Alcorn State (12/20), Northern Arizona (12/22) and opens Big 12 play at Kansas State (12/30) to close out the calendar year.
Iowa State’s month was highlighted with a 69-66 win over rival Iowa, which gave the Cyclones their 10th-straight win over the Hawkeyes under Fennelly in Hilton Coliseum.
The Pass. The Play.
In what became one of the most talked about plays of the 2015-16 season, Kidd Blaskowsky threw a full-court pass to freshman Meredith Burkhall with 2.6 seconds left for a wide-open jump shot to end the third quarter. The bucket trimmed the Iowa lead to eight (54-46). The Cyclones always practice their nifty three-second play, but don’t always get to use it, and it doesn’t always go according to plan.
After the game, Fennelly commented on the big-time play with the media:
“You practice that play all the time, and sometimes you never, ever run it — and, usually, it doesn’t work. So when it works in this kind of game, it makes it even more special.”
“Kidd’s got as good an arm as any quarterback or any baseball player I’ve ever seen. It worked perfectly. The throw was great. The catch was great. Meredith was so open I thought she was going to panic a little bit.”
(Fun Fact: Blaskowsky was quite talented in softball before ultimately picking to pursue basketball. Looks like that softball accuracy came in handy.)
Check out the video below to see the play at its finest:
Cody Goodwin from the Ames Tribune wrote all about the pass that sparked the Cyclone comeback:
TeeTee Starks To Have Knee Surgery
Freshman guard TeeTee Starks will undergo surgery on Wednesday to repair articular cartilage damage to her left knee. The surgery will alleviate chronic pain in her knee. Starks’ timetable for recovery is to be determined after surgery.
Starks is averaging 5.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in limited minutes for the Cyclones. Starks is likely to miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season and would pursue a redshirt.
Carleton Hardly Skips a Beat
After missing three games due to an injury to her mouth, which she suffered in Cancun, Mexico, against No. 15 Duke, Carleton returned to the court this week in a pair of games against No. 23 Iowa and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Carleton tallied 11 points, four rebounds and a career-high four blocks against Iowa and netted seven points in the fourth quarter to help ISU come from behind to topple Iowa.
Carleton returned on Sunday and put on a shooting clinic as she netted six 3-pointers in the first half against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Carleton’s six triples earned her her own highlight reel from Cyclones.tv. Check it below:
Carleton is averaging 14.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, while shooting 44.9 percent from the field and 45.0 percent from deep. Carleton also has 10 blocks on the season, which is 16 away from the top-5 in school history among ISU freshmen.
Burkhall Playing Big Minutes For Iowa State
After a rough start in her first five games for the Cyclones, Meredith Burkhall has really found her rhythm.
Meredith Burkhall in ISU’s first five games
3.0 points 2.6 rebounds 0 steals 12.8 minutes
Meredith Burkhall in ISU’s last four games
13.3 points 5.8 rebounds 1.8 steals 22.3 minutes
Her stellar play last week earned her the Big 12 Freshman of the Week award. Burkhall is also leading the Cyclones in field goal percentage, making 55.8 percent of her shots, which is good for 11th in the Big 12.
Cyclones Still Pursuing Makeup Date For New Orleans Game
Iowa State and New Orleans are still in talks to reschedule the game that was cancelled after travel issues prevented New Orleans from making it to Ames for the Nov. 22nd matchup.
Seanna Johnson Continues To Shine
There are few Big 12 players having a better nonconference season than Seanna Johnson. The Brooklyn Park, Minn. native, has tallied 17.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Though there are countless notes for Johnson, let’s take a look at where she stacks up in the Big 12 and nationally.
Johnson’s Rankings in the Big 12/Nation
Stat Big 12 Nation
17.2 points 3rd 85th
10.6 rebounds 1st 20th
8.0 Defensive RPG 1st 18th
3.8 assists 7th 174th
7 Double-Doubles 1st 4th
46 Free Throw Makes N/A 21st
56 Free Throw Attempts N/A 31st
Lisa Bluder on Johnson:
After Iowa State’s win, Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder commented on Johnson’s play down the stretch.
“We didn’t have an answer for stopping Seanna Johnson from attacking the rim. Every time she attacked she got a 3-point play the old fashioned way. We couldn’t keep her off the boards, either. Our defense wasn’t very good in that fourth quarter.”
“I mean she just took this game over. She took it upon herself. She got to the old fashioned 3-point plays. She did a great job with that and she was also great on the offensive glass.”
Kidd Blaskowsky Nominated For Good Works Team
Senior guard Kidd Blaskowsky was nominated for the 2016 Allstate WBCA Good Works Team. The award seeks to spotlight student-athletes who have shown dedication to community service and altruism in their communities.
Blaskowsky was one of 103 nominees in women’s basketball. During her time at Iowa State, Blaskowsky has volunteered at dozens of community service events and used her platform as a student-athlete to positively influence the Ames community.