After going on a two-game losing streak, Iowa State won pretty easily against Texas Tech at Hilton Coliseum when the Cyclones completed their second sweep of the season and took the Lady Raiders down 92-73.
Against a team they hit the school record 19 3-pointers Jan. 10 in Lubbock, Texas, the Cyclones seemed to rely less on the three Saturday and turn to driving the basket more.
Driving the basket was something Iowa State struggled with in its loss to West Virginia on Wednesday, with Iowa State only shooting four free throws in the game.
Iowa State Head Coach Bill Fennelly said after the West Virginia game the Cyclones needed to be more aggressive, initiate contact and that you’re gonna have a hard time at any level when you only shoot four free throws.
On Saturday, it appears Iowa State listened.
Iowa State went 48.5 percent from the field Saturday afternoon, scoring 50 of its 92 points in the paint.
Fennelly said he was really proud of his team and that they really wanted to space the floor to be able to attack the basket.
“For us to get 50 points in the paint, that’s a huge number for us and it wasn’t just getting to the line, it was trying to get layups,” Fennelly said. “They were doing a good job early of chasing us off the 3-point line, especially in transition, so we really felt like we could get some driving lanes, find the matchup that we liked to attack and I thought our kids did a good job.”
Fennelly said the Cyclones wanted to be more aggressive and from start to finish and they couldn’t have been much better on offense.
Freshman guard Emily Ryan, who led the team in points with 21, said they talked about driving the basket a lot and that they are confident in their 3-point shooting, but they had to work their way out.
“We realized that when we shoot our best it starts on the inside and we work our way out,” Ryan said. “It was huge for us to get the ball inside the paint today and shots will fall once you make a few layups so that was our goal for today.”
Driving the basket doesn’t just help with points in the paint, but it also helps with getting to the line for free throws, wherein the Cyclones went 18-23 on Saturday.
Junior guard Ashley Joens, who went 7-7 on free-throw shooting Saturday after not getting to the line at all against West Virginia, said they talked in practice about how they weren’t very aggressive in their last game.
“We just knew that we had to be more aggressive and get to the basket and get to the free-throw line,” Joens said.