On Saturday, fans who saw the Iowa State women’s basketball team take on Texas got to see something really special. It wasn’t entirely about the win, but more how the Cyclones won the game and the Hilton Coliseum atmosphere.
Over the last few weeks the talk in press conferences and practices has been largely centered around shooting, as Iowa State shot an average of 36.7 percent from the field over its last four games. Shooting slumps are common in basketball, but it can be tough to deal with especially when you play in the Big 12 and every team has the talent to win on any given night.
All the talk about scoring clearly got into the heads of the team, as six players scored in double-digits to lead Iowa State to a commanding 81-64 win over Texas. It was a win that head coach Bill Fennelly called the team’s best performance of the season. What’s even more remarkable is that the last time Iowa State had six players score in double-figures was 2009, showing this isn’t a feat that’s easily achieved.
The all-out team effort gave Iowa State the win, bringing them just one-game shy of a .500 record in conference play.
The other special part of the evening was the 13,187 fans that saw it in person. The crowd was the seventh-largest in ISU history and the largest since 2004.
Big crowds have been a staple at Iowa State for many years now, but Saturday’s gathering meant a lot as Iowa State was searching for a critical win over Texas. The only other school in the country with crowds as large as those in Hilton Coliseum is that of 10th-ranked Tennessee.
What struck me most about the season-high in attendance was the fact that it was the highest attended game at ISU since 2004, even after four tough home losses the Hilton crowd remained faithful. It would be hard to find a more loyal fan base than Iowa State’s.
Before the Cyclones’ tilt against No. 5 Baylor on Senior Night (Tuesday, March 4), Iowa State is averaging 10,085 fans, the fourth-highest average in ISU history and the second-highest in the nation. With Senior Night yet to come, Hilton could grab an even larger crowd against the Baylor Lady Bears.