Fallon Ellis: A Little Confidence Goes a Long Way

Fallon Ellis

Every year before the season starts head coach Bill Fennelly sits every player down for individual meetings. He goes through what each player needs to do to be successful and explains his expectations. During senior Fallon Ellis’ meeting, what Fennelly said has stuck with her throughout her senior year. He told the 5-11 guard from Missouri City, Texas that she would win a few games for the Cyclones this season.

And he meant it.

However, that was a bold statement for Ellis to take in, considering prior to this season she had averaged just 2.6 points and played around 11 minutes a contest.

Fennelly’s confidence really struck a chord with Ellis. She believed him and it made all the difference in her play this season.

“When he said that to me, I was just like, ‘He believes in me and that I can do certain things. He knows what I am capable of.’ I felt if he sees this in me then I should see it in myself,” Ellis said.

Ellis started believing in herself and big things happened for the senior and for the Cyclones.

Ellis’ improvement on the court has been evident in conference play, where the senior has been lauded by Cyclone Nation on multiple occasions.

The Cyclone faithful first caught a glimpse of her improvement against Kansas State in Hilton Coliseum. With Iowa State struggling against the Wildcats late, the game was tied at 50 with 2:51 remaining. Brynn Williamson passed it to Fallon Ellis along the 3-point line for an open 3-pointer. Ellis didn’t hesitate and knocked down the biggest shot of the game to give Iowa State a 53-50 lead that would eventually seal the deal for Iowa State.

Ellis’ improved play is clearly reflected in her season stat line, as she is averaging 4.8 points, which is nearly double her points from last year. She is also shooting high percentages from the field (.500), 3-point land (.381) and from the charity stripe (.756), and her rebounding is also up from seasons prior (3.7).

She’s tied her career high of 11 points five times this season and in Iowa State’s last game against the Sooners she hauled in a game-high 14 rebounds. After receiving her fifth foul against OU, Ellis went to the bench with a standing ovation from the crowd.

“I didn’t expect to get 14 rebounds in any game but I just did,” Ellis said. “It just came. We needed it. My rebounding hasn’t been as good the past few games. I would look at the stat sheet at half and see zero rebounds and think that that is not acceptable. I can do something. I guess it was just in me that game to just grab every rebound I can.”

Ellis has handled herself against some of the best posts in the Big 12 this season. It’s a true testament of her hard work over the last four seasons and to the Iowa State system.

“I think it is just sending a statement,” she said. “I’m small but I pack a lot of power. I’m able to do just the same things as taller posts can. I feel like I’m a little bit quicker and faster and I’m pretty strong. So it is safe to say I’m small, but I’m capable of doing big things.”

Her play on the court is just as important as what she does off the court. Each year at Iowa State, Ellis set goals for herself. This year, one of her goals was to be able to help her team on and off the court and to reach her potential.

“I want to be that teammate that everyone is like, ‘That is the teammate that helped me a lot and I appreciate her.’ That’s the kind of teammate I always want around,” Ellis said. “That is what I want to leave behind. I guess that was the main goal for me and I’m hoping by the end of the season that my teammates think of me that way. Not only as a good player on the court but a good person off the court.”

She credits much of her character to Fennelly and the Iowa State Way and she also looks forward to being able to use what she learned at Iowa State when she transitions into the career world.

“I think that the best thing about Coach Fennelly is that he does teach us character,” Ellis said. “It’s not just basketball. That’s the kind of thing we need as young adults. Knowing not only what is going on here, but what’s going on in the real world. I think that is going to help me out in the long run. He teaches us character and to always be appreciative of things. Those things have helped me out in my social life as well. People look at me as that person that is appreciative and I’m really grateful for that.”

All things considered, her time at Iowa State will not be forgotten and she isn’t ready just yet to turn the page because there’s still a lot of basketball left. However, Ellis’ big year just goes to show just how far a little confidence can go.


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The Doctor Almost Begins His Practice In Ames

Cain & Erving

Almost every college athletic fan can recall a “we almost got this player” story. And just like every other school, Iowa State has had its share of them.

As a Cyclone fan growing up in the 1980s, I remember when Glen Rice committed to play basketball at Iowa State. Rice was high school teammates with Jeff Grayer at Flint (Mich.) Northwestern and it looked like Johnny Orr had tapped into the Flint area for another star player who could eventually hang in the rafters with Grayer and Barry Stevens.

Of course, it wasn’t meant to be, as Rice changed his mind and eventually signed with the University of Michigan. He later single-handily led the Wolverines to the 1989 NCAA title, earning Most Outstanding Player honors at the Final Four before embarking on a 15-year NBA career where he was a three-time All-Star.

I know most Cyclone fans are aware of the close call with Rice. But did you know that one of the greatest players in hoops history, Julius Erving, was almost a Cyclone? Yes, The Doctor was this close to beginning his practice in Ames, Iowa.

I first heard of this story in 2002 when Bill Cain was inducted into the Iowa State Letterwinners Club Athletics Hall of Fame. Cain, a native of New York, had an extraordinary hoops career at Iowa State (1967-70), earning first-team All-Big Eight honors in 1969 and 1970. He set school records for rebounding average in a season (15.2) and rebounds in a game (26 vs. Minnesota), marks which are likely safe for eternity. He’s still one of only four players in school history to finish a career averaging a double-double (19.5 ppg; 12.5 rpg).

Bill Cain is one of four players in school history to average a double-double in a career.

Bill Cain is one of four players in Iowa State history to average a double-double in a career.

Cain was the 42nd pick of the 1970 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers. After narrowly missing the final cut with Portland, Cain contacted then-Drake assistant and future Iowa State assistant Gus Guydon, who was trying to hook him up with a team in Europe through his connections.

“I told Gus, ‘I’m not going to Europe. I want to stay here and play in the NBA,’” Cain told me recently over the phone. “Well, I listened to Gus, and as I’m talking to you now I’m sitting in a country house outside of Paris, France.”

Meeting Cyclone legends and listening to their stories when they come back for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony is one of my favorite times of the year.

When I first met Cain in 2002, I immediately peppered him with questions about his days in Ames. I also asked him about the outstanding players from the New York City area who came to ISU before him. Guys like John Crawford, Vinnie Brewer, Henry Whitney and Zaid Abdul-Aziz, just to name a few.

Without warning, Cain laid a shocker on me.

“You know, we almost got Julius Erving, too,” Cain said at the ceremony.

Well, this was news to me, and as a lifelong fan of Dr. J, frankly I couldn’t believe it. I mean, how come I had never heard of this?

Cain filled me in a little more on Dr. J’s 1967 recruiting visit to Ames in an interview over the phone this past week.

“He (Erving) was from Long Island and was in Ames for an entire weekend, and boy, did we have some great games in State Gym that weekend,” Cain said with a laugh. “I think he would have come to Iowa State if things would have been done a little differently. It is very possible we could have gotten him. It’s too bad he didn’t come there, but we had a great weekend.”

Cain vividly remembers everything about the visit. How could he not? He spent a weekend with one of the all-time greats. Larry Farmer, who played for and later became the head coach at UCLA, also paid a visit to Ames that weekend.

“The Temptations were playing in Des Moines and I grabbed Julius and we went down to the concert on a Saturday night,” Cain remembered. “It was at the old Vets Auditorium and it was the first time both of us had seen them play. We had a blast. I was hoping that was enough to get him to Ames.”

In later books about Erving’s outstanding career, his visit to Ames is backed up. In 2013, Erving published his autobiography, “Dr. J,” where his weekend at Iowa State is mentioned.

We all know the story from here. Erving chooses Massachusetts and evolves into a 16-time All-Star in a 16-year Hall-of-Fame career. He was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996.

Cain loves telling the story of his weekend with The Doctor. He also loves recollecting about the sequel to the meeting.

In the 1990s, Cain was in New York to attend a family reunion. By chance, Erving and Cain are distant relatives and Erving was present at the same family gathering. Cain made eye contact with Erving, but after 30 years, he figured he would have no idea who he was.

Suddenly, Erving started walking toward Cain. He put out his enormous hand, which made a basketball look like a softball in his grip, and said, “Bill Cain. Iowa State. The Temptations.”

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Hoop Bits (1-28-15)

Niang’s All-Around Game Impressive

Georges Niang is one of 13 players in the nation averaging better than 14 points, five rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. His versatility has been well known nationwide since he arrived at Iowa State in 2012.

In fact, Niang is one of 20 players nationally with 1,200 points, 400 rebounds and 250 assists in their career.

Niang is the only player on the list that is not a senior. He’s also just one of two players that are taller than 6-6 (J.J. Avila, Colorado State).

It is a pleasure to watch such a crafty player take the floor at Hilton Coliseum each night.

Six In Double Figures
Iowa State is the only team in the country with six players averaging double figures. Led by Niang’s 14.8 points, the Cyclones are aiming to become just the third ISU team to have five players average double digits. Also in double figures are Bryce Dejean-Jones (12.7), Naz Long (12.2), Dustin Hogue (11.0), Monté Morris (10.8) and Jameel McKay (10.1).

Texas is the only other team in the Big 12 with four or more players in double figures.

Too Close For Comfort
Iowa State’s seven Big 12 games have been decided by a total of 23 points, or an average of 3.3 points.

Fortunately for Iowa State fans, ISU is 10-3 in conference games decided by six points or fewer (or OT) in the last two seasons.

Hoiberg Advances In Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge
In case you missed it, ISU head coach Fred Hoiberg is again participating in the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge. He dominated the first round and is currently in second behind Purdue’s Matt Painter in the second round. Hoiberg is competing to earn money for the American Heart Association.

He danced for you, now hopefully you will vote for him!

You can vote daily by clicking here.

GameDay Comes To Ames
Having ESPN’s College GameDay was a great experience for all involved. Cyclones.com built a special page to allow you to relive that day. Check it out!


Fantasy Camp
Fred Hoiberg Basketball Camps offer a new way for adults to get involved in the camp world. Sure to be a great experience, attendees will get a bunch of Iowa State basketball gear and the opportunity to interact with coaches and players.


Dunk Meter
Last season, Iowa State had 50 dunks. This season, Iowa State has 60 dunks.

Here is a breakdown of the dunks per Cyclone this season:

McKay – 19
Dejean-Jones – 18
Hogue – 8
Nader – 4
Edozie – 3
Morris – 3
Niang – 3
Jackson – 1
Long – 1

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There’s An App For That

Iowa State gymnastics coach Jay Ronayne has come up with a new way to communicate with his student-athletes.

Iowa State gymnastics coach Jay Ronayne has come up with a new way to communicate with his student-athletes.

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” – Plato, The Republic

Life always throws obstacles and challenges and people, ruining our perfectly laid-out days that we go into the day knowing will go perfectly. Sometimes it doesn’t take long for that obstacle to come into range, other times it comes later. Sometimes you get a nice comfortable gap of hours to prepare accordingly, sometimes you get mere minutes. As Epictetus once said, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

Epictetus: Iowa State Gymnastics fan since 55 AD.

Epictetus: Iowa State Gymnastics fan since 55 AD.

When you are the head coach of a collegiate gymnastics program like Iowa State’s Jay Ronayne, that reaction affects more than just himself. It changes the days and lives of his 16 student-athletes, coaches and support staff. When that decision comes from the top, it needs to go out from the top. There have been many ways of communicating these changes over the years: Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride, word of mouth, Morse code, Pony Express, phone trees, emails and mass texting are just some examples over the years. This season, Iowa State gymnastics has a new method of its own: an iPhone app.

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” Plato said in The Republic, Ronayne said. “Back in June, I was thinking about how we (the coaching staff) communicate with our student-athletes. We always give them a hard-copy calendar before the season. I asked them again and they said hard copies of the calendar, which we had no problem with. The problem comes that not everyone reads them and things change.”

“Necessity is the mother of invention,”  - Plato in The Repbulic, 380 BC, Jay Ronayne in 2015 AD

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” – Plato in The Repbulic, 380 BC, Jay Ronayne in 2015 AD

Ronayne created an iPhone application “Iowa State Gymnastics” that gives ISU’s gymnasts the team calendar right to their phones. However, it is not just about having the app itself that is crucial to the decision to use it, it is the ability to communicate with the student-athletes that brought about the change.

The front page of the Iowa State Gymnastics App.

The front page of the Iowa State Gymnastics App.

“What I can do with the app is that if I feel there is a change that is important enough for them to know about, I can send it to their phones in the form of a push notification,” Ronayne noted. “It is like a text message, but I know they are going to get it. It seemed like the right thing at the right time, and I created the app.”

So in the same way that we find out that Matt Shoultz favorited one of your Tweets (a big honor, Shoultz doesn’t just hand out favorites), Ronayne can send out a notification saying that a practice time has changed or a reminder that a bus leaves at a certain time. It is not just the technology that has allowed Ronayne to do this, it is the way we consume information today that allowed it.

Need to know when practice is? The app has that.

Need to know when practice is? The app has that.

“I thought about how they communicated amongst themselves and that is through their phones,” Ronayne said. “They text each other, and apps are popular with methods of communicating. I did some research and realized that if I could pull together all the information they needed in one place, it could be through an app that would contain it and fit their purposes.”

The app is not all about a way of sending out practice changes, Ronayne has utilized the app as a one-stop shop for Iowa State Gymnastics. The team travel itineraries, nutritional information, the team handbook, contact information for everyone from student-athletes to support staff (I’m in there, which was surprising and a big honor) and links to the team website and Twitter account (follow us, @CycloneGYM!) are among the items student-athletes can access.

Need to get in touch with someone with Iowa State gymnastics? The app has that info, too.

Need to get in touch with someone with Iowa State gymnastics? The app has that info, too.

This is a big change from the days of … less than a decade ago. A veteran of the gymnastics coaching industry across over 25 years, Ronayne knows well how far the technology has come and how it has made his life easier.

“I remember having to do phone trees,” Ronayne noted. “I would call the team captain, tell her a schedule change and then she would have a group of people to call. After she called those people, they would have people they would call and so on. That is slow and not always effective. After that it was texting, but we were still not getting the message across.”

It is not a method for everyone, it requires technical knowledge to run it and for the student-athletes to have the technical capabilities to receive the updates. However, it does provide another light into the many different ways to accomplish what we need in our lives.

Iowa State Gymnastics? Yeah, there’s an app for that!

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Bill Frieder Reminisces About Johnny Orr In First Trip To Hilton Coliseum

Frieder, Bill1

Bill Frieder calls it the happiest seven years of his life. From 1973-80, Frieder was an assistant coach at the University of Michigan under legendary coach Johnny Orr.

It was during this time where the understudy learned the ropes of college basketball. It was also a time where he learned that basketball wasn’t just about wins and losses. It was about developing relationships and having a little fun along the way.

“I tell everyone this all the time. The seven happiest years my wife and I ever had was the seven years in Ann Arbor as Johnny’s assistant.” Frieder said. “He was such a great person, a good guy and fun to be around. On top of it, he didn’t have an ego. He allowed his staffs to do things. He allowed his players to play.”

Bill Frieder and Johnny Orr in 1979.

Bill Frieder and Johnny Orr in 1979.

Frieder was in town over the weekend covering the Iowa State-Kansas matchup as the color analyst for the Westwood One national radio broadcast.

If you need a little background on Frieder, he was a darn good coach too. After Orr left for Iowa State in 1980, Frieder took over the reins of the Michigan program for nine seasons (1980-89). He led the Wolverines to four NCAA Tournaments, two Big Ten titles and a record of 188-90. He later took the head job at Arizona State, leading the Sun Devils to two NCAA Tournaments and four NIT appearances in eight seasons (1989-97).

He credits Orr for making it possible to be his successor at Michigan.

“He recommended me,” Frieder said. “It was kind of determined after we went to the Final Four (1976) that I would be the next coach at Michigan after Johnny left. He certainly didn’t hurt me any. When you have your head coach out promoting your assistants, it’s great. Johnny did that for everyone.”

When Orr left Michigan for Iowa State in 1980, it sent tremors in the college basketball landscape. Orr was the head man at Michigan for 12 seasons, directing the Wolverines to three NCAA Tournaments and two Big Ten titles. His 1975-76 UM squad lost to Indiana in the national championship game.

Meanwhile, the Iowa State men’s basketball program was stuck in reverse.

Frieder still admits he was a little stunned when Orr left Ann Arbor for Ames.

“I was shocked, but it was no different when I went to Arizona State in 1989,” Frieder said.

“A lot of people don’t know this, but originally I was the guy Iowa State was targeting. Long story short, Iowa State told him they wanted a head coach and they were going to pay more money. Johnny asked Iowa State, ‘How much are you going to pay?’ It was almost twice as much he was making at Michigan, so all of a sudden he was interested,” Frieder laughed.

The rest is obviously history. Orr resurrected the Cyclone basketball program and became one of the most popular figures in Iowa State history.

One of Orr’s greatest victories in his Cyclone career came at the expense of Frieder. Iowa State met Michigan in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1986. Michigan was the No. 2 seed and the champions of the Big Ten, but the Cyclones scored the upset with a 72-69 victory to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

“They (Iowa State) had a great team,” Frieder said. “They had (Jeff) Hornacek. We had a good team, but they beat us and outplayed us. It’s funny, I had one matchup with Johnny and he beat us. And then I had one matchup against Michigan and Steve Fisher and we (Arizona State) beat them. It’s funny how that goes. That Iowa State team that beat us was great.”

Frieder & Hoiberg1

Despite all of his seasons coaching, Frieder made his first trip to Hilton Coliseum on Saturday. He got emotional when he saw the Orr statue and “Johnny’s” for the first time. Hilton Magic was everything he heard it was.

“I am so happy to be here,” Frieder said. “This place is electric. I was so impressed with GameDay today. This is a fantastic environment.”

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ISU Track and Field: 2015 Men’s Preview

2015 Men's Preview - 2
Only two days remain until the Iowa State track and field teams open the 2015 season at the Holiday Inn Invitational. We previewed the women’s team on Monday, so here’s a look at what’s ahead for the ISU men.

The Cyclone men return three NCAA qualifiers in three-time All-American Edward Kemboi (800m), second-team All-American Cameron Ostrowski (high jump) and two-time national qualifier Jan Jeuschede (shot put). The trio earned the men’s team national recognition, lifting the Cyclones to No. 19 in the USTFCCCA preseason poll.

Key Departures
Mohamed Hrezi: Distance (XC All-American, 5x top-8 finisher at Big 12 meets)
Ryan Sander: Hurdles (Big 12 Indoor runner-up, 60H)

Jeuschede and Ostrowski are set to lead the field-event crew again this year, both ranking in the top-four in program history in their respective events (indoor and outdoor). Jeuschede holds a career-best throw in the shot put of 61 feet, 6.25 inches (18.75m), hurling the mark at last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships. Jeuschede became just the fourth individual in Cyclone history to break 61 feet in the event, scoring the farthest throw by an ISU student-athlete since 1999.

Ostrowski lept to second-team All-America honors last season at the NCAA indoor meet and took home the Big 12 title in the high jump in 2014. The Burlington, Illinois, native cleared a height of 7’3.75” (2.23m) at the conference indoor meet, becoming just the second Cyclone ever to clear the mark and rank at No. 2 on the program’s all-time indoor list.

Henry Kelley (weight / hammer throw) and Taylor Sanderson (multis) also return to the lineup in 2015. Kelley came on strong in the outdoor season, throwing the hammer a personal-best 185’07” (56.56m) at the Tiger Classic to rank at No. 6 on the all-time list. The Waukee, Iowa, product also ranks at No. 8 on the indoor list (weight throw) at 59’0.25” (17.98m).

Sanderson became just the sixth multi-event athlete in program history to break the 5,000-point barrier in the heptathlon last season, posting a career mark of 5,245 in the Lied Recreation Athletic Center at the Bill Bergan Invitational. Sanderson also placed sixth in the decathlon at last year’s outdoor Big 12 meet, scoring 6,925 points.

New to the field-event roster this season will be Jalen Ford (Fr., high jump), Ben Krynski (RFr., weight/hammerthrow) and Tyler Hunke (Fr., multis).

Sophomore hurdler Derek Jones will lead the ISU hurdle squad this season, coming off a freshman campaign that saw him rise to No. 8 on the program’s all-time 400-meter hurdles list with a third-place, 51.02-second performance at the Big 12 Outdoor Championship. Jones was one of two Cyclones to score points in the event at the outdoor meet, also joined on the Big 12 podium by Kris Brander, who placed seventh. Trey Achterhoff also returns in the 400H crew.

Jared Ingram, Mark Sitek and Jacob Hoogensen return to the sprint squad, joined by freshmen Elijah Young and Logan Schneider.

Kemboi headlines the men’s distance crew, coming off an indoor runner-up performance at the NCAA Indoor meet a year ago. The Eldoret, Kenya, native clocked as fast as 1:45.98 indoors last season. Kemboi posted a pair of sub-1:47 performances in 2014 and is a four-time Big 12 individual champion, becoming the first student-athlete in conference history to win both the 800m and 1,000m titles at the Big 12 indoor meet. Kemboi is the program 800m record-holder both indoors (1:45.98) and outdoors (1:46.06), also holding the top 1,000m mark indoors (2:21.89).

Coming off redshirt years, Patrick Peterson and Christian DeLago add depth in the middle distance events. Peterson holds an 800m PR of 1:48.10 and took the open title at the Kansas Relays last season while competing unattached. DeLago has also clocked sub-1:50 in the event, running 1:49.62 at the Portland Track Festival.

Martin Coolidge will have his eyes set on the Big 12 podium in the long-distance events. The Elyria, Ohio, native ranks at No. 6 on the program’s all-time 5K list indoors, posting a time of 14:01.73 at the Big 12 meet in 2012. Coolidge also ranks at No. 10 on the outdoor 10K list with a time of 29:08.87.

Social Media
Be sure to follow @CycloneTrackXC on facebook, twitter and instagram for notes, stats, pictures and general coverage of the Iowa State men’s and women’s track and field teams.

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Reliving The Magic: A Look Inside One Of The Biggest Wins In School History

On Sat. Jan. 10, the 2014-15 Iowa State women’s basketball team pulled off one of the greatest upsets in school history. Many of you either witnessed the game in person, saw the highlights, the photos, the articles, but that game had so many moving story lines it’s hard to fully grasp what really happened in Hilton Coliseum on that cold January morning. So here’s an in depth look Cyclone Nation.

Team Celebration

Do you believe in magic? Most people would say, “No,” but if you’re an Iowa State fan you would likely reply with a definitive, “Yes.”

On Saturday, Jan. 10, 7,928 Iowa State fans witnessed Hilton Magic in person as the Iowa State women’s basketball team knocked off No. 3 Texas in one of the biggest upsets in Iowa State women’s basketball history.

There are more storylines in this game than anyone could imagine prompting head coach Bill Fennelly to joke that if you wrote down what happened in Hilton Coliseum and took it to Hollywood they would laugh. But it did happen. The Cyclones defeated the Texas Longhorns, handing them their first loss of the season.

Iowa State’s match up with Texas was emotional, physical — and a little magical.

Down by 18 in the first half, the Cyclones worried things could slip away against a powerful Longhorn squad. However, lingering in the back of their minds was the events of Wednesday night, where ISU saw a 24-point lead of their own erased in Fort Worth, Texas against the Horned Frogs.

At halftime, Fennelly challenged the team to play hard, keep battling and force the Longhorns to be the ones to take the first timeout. After starting the second half with a 5-0 run, 37-29, UT head coach Karen Aston signaled for a timeout.

Iowa State would continue to take it to the Longhorns and would close the gap to six, 33-39, by the under-16 timeout. During the timeout, 18 former women’s basketball alumnae stepped onto the court to be introduced to the fans. Behind roars from the crowd, Bill Fennelly broke away from the huddle to hug his former players who came to honor their former coach’s 20th season. Those same players Fennelly often credits for helping make the program what it is today.

During the timeout, Fennelly also reminded the players of what he had been challenging them all day – to do something special to make these fans remember them.

With a new sense of energy, the team retook he court and poured their hearts onto the hardwood. With 10:57 on the clock, Iowa State grabbed a 50-47 lead off a 3-pointer from Kidd Blaskowsky. Soon the 3-point lead turned into a seven-point Iowa State lead, 57-50, with 8:10 remaining.

Texas would tie the game after a series of baskets and a free-throw by Nneka Enemkpali, 57-57. With 0:19 ticks on the clock, Nikki Moody drove down the lane and dished perhaps one of the biggest assists of her career as she found Seanna Johnson, who netted a layup to give ISU a 59-57 lead.

The next 0:19 seconds would feel like an eternity as three Longhorns would fire off shots: first a 3-point miss by Brooke McCarty, the second a jumper by Brady Sanders, and finally after scrambling for a rebound, Enemkpali would get the best look with a layup attempt as time expired. The shot would bounce off the bottom of the rim, sealing the Iowa State victory.

The win was the Cyclones’ first over a top-five opponent since Jan. 14, 2004 when ISU took down Texas Tech, 64-63, in Hilton Coliseum.

In one of the most emotional games in all of college basketball so far this season, the Cyclones came away with a hard-fought victory.

No story could really ever do this game justice. You can’t accurately write about the feeling and emotion that went into Saturday’s showdown with the Longhorns, but that’s what memories are for.

Tonight, Iowa State has the chance to make history as it takes on the new AP No. 3, the Baylor Lady Bears. Iowa State is the only team in the country to face two top-three teams in back-to-back games.

But until then, this team is going to enjoy that win on Saturday.

Here are some of the best moments and quotes from ISU’s win over Texas:

Kidd Blaskowsky

Junior guard Kidd Blaskowsky begins to celebrate as Iowa State mounts its comeback.

Hilton Crowd

This Cyclone crowd was incredible as they cheered Iowa State to victory.


Nikki Moody dishes one of the biggest assists of her career to Seanna Johnson for the go-ahead layup to defeat Texas.

Emily Durr

Iowa State freshman Emily Durr celebrates Johnson’s layup.

Brynn Williamson

After the win, this shot of Brynn Williamson show off her Iowa State jersey to the crowd was plastered on the front of ESPNW.

Locker Room

After the game, the Cyclones patiently waited in the locker room ready to surprise Fennelly when he came in.

Locker Room Celebration

After the game, the Cyclones patiently waited in the locker room ready to surprise Fennelly when he came in.

Jamie Pollard

Jamie Pollard spoke with the team in the locker room after the game and asked the team “How do you top special? That’s what that was.”

Bill and Deb Fennelly

Fennelly invites his wife, Deb, to the podium after the game.

Quotable Quotes:

“I think the magic of this program came out today.” – Bill Fennelly

“I’m really happy for our team. Our team needed this really bad. I’m really happy that they’ll get to stand out there at half court one year and tell everyone what they did against the University of Texas.” – Bill Fennelly

“All of our former players and the magic of the fans knocked that last shot off.” – Bill Fennelly

“The credit goes to our fans. You’ll never understand how loud it got on that court and the way we played through it – down 18 – everyone played with a little more heart.” Brynn Williamson

“We went into the locker room and we’re all celebrating but we’re not done yet. We have another top-five team to play,” – Brynn Williamson

“It felt like the longest three seconds of my life.” – Nikki Moody on Texas’ final shots

“It was the best feeling. I can’t even describe it.” – Nikki Moody

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