Coming off of an ideal 2-0 start to the season, Iowa State women’s basketball will hit the road for the first time to match up with in-state opponent, Drake, on Thursday.
Drake enters the matchup with a 1-1 record, including a nail biting win over Creighton and a loss against South Dakota. Although it is just a short drive for the Cyclones, any game on the road is more challenging, and head coach Bill Fennelly understands this going in.
“Effort, enthusiasm, how you defend, the way you go about doing your business, that stuff can travel,” Fennelly said. “We have the best fanbase in the country, and you’re not playing in front of that.”
The Bulldogs have a balanced scoring attack without a single player averaging more than 11 points so far in the young season. Not having one player that does all of the scoring can be challenging to defend, but Iowa State has shown defensive promise this season.
Fennelly said that you can draw comparisons to the offenses of Drake and South Dakota State. He described the two offenses as quick- with a lot of cuts involved. He mentioned that he is grateful to have played against South Dakota State during the same week as Drake for the reason that his team will have some familiarity with the offense of Drake.
With a new head coach in Allison Pohlman, the Bulldogs still run many of the same systems as they have on both sides of the ball in previous years. Pohlman has been a part of the Drake staff since 2007, choosing to operate in a similar fashion on the court.
Fennelly mentioned that he is aware of Drake’s systems and hopes that he can help the Cyclones challenge them.
Sophomore Emily Ryan understands how important these games versus nearby opponents really are to both the teams and the fanbases.
“It means a lot more to both teams. You know a lot of the girls, and so it's a game that you want to win,” Ryan said.
The game is set to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa at the Knapp Center.