Iowa State (6-1) is heading into Wednesday’s matchup with the Iowa Hawkeyes (6-2) with revenge on its mind, as Iowa won 73-70 in Iowa City last season, thanks to a three-pointer by Tania Davis with 2.6 seconds left.
This season, the two will meet in Ames. Tip-off is 7 p.m. Wednesday at Hilton Coliseum.
The Cyclones are 4-0 at home this season. In a press conference on Tuesday, Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said that playing at Hilton Coliseum could give them the edge over Iowa.
This season, Davis, as well as 2019 NCAA player of the year Megan Gustafson, are both gone due to graduation.
However, even with Davis and Gustafson gone, the Hawkeyes have plenty of experienced players on their roster, which could make the difference in a rivalry game.
“I don’t think they are going to be overwhelmed by the environment here,” Fennelly said.
Iowa’s starting lineup is headlined by three seniors, guard Makenzie Meyer, guard Kathleen Doyle and forward Amanda Ollinger.
Doyle and Meyer are two of the Hawkeyes' best scorers, as Doyle leads the team in scoring with 14.8 points per game and Meyer is third on the team with 14.3 points per game.
Second on the team in scoring is sophomore forward Monika Czinano, who averages 14.4 points per game.
The Hawkeyes' strength is their passing, as they are tied for 21st in assist to turnover ratio with a 1.23 ratio. They have also dished out 162 assists and average 20.3, which is the sixth-highest scoring average by a player in the country.
“They’re very hard to guard and they are extremely efficient,” Fennelly said.
The challenge that Iowa is faced with in playing Iowa State is stopping sophomore forward Ashley Joens.
Joens has been one of the best scorers in the country. She is 10th in the country in scoring, averaging 21.9 points per game for the Cyclones.
While Joens has been great for Iowa State, she struggled in last season’s game versus Iowa.
Joens, an Iowa City native, shot one for 10 and scored two points in Iowa State’s three-point loss to Iowa last season.
“She has an amazing ability as a young player to not get too focused on what happened,” Fennelly said. “She’s moved on great, had a great freshman year and she’s off to a really good start this year.”
On the defensive end, Iowa State has struggled to create turnovers. Iowa State is only forcing 15.6 turnovers a game, which is ninth out of 10 in the Big 12.
One of the reasons the Cyclones have struggled to force turnovers is because they haven’t played with a fully healthy starting lineup this season.
Junior center Kristin Scott, who was named to the All-Big 12 Preseason team, had been dealing with a back injury and was limited to 15-20 minutes a game earlier in the season, but now she seems to be back to full strength.
However, junior forward Madi Wise has missed the past two games due to migraines and could very well miss Wednesday’s game, although Fennelly hasn’t completely ruled her out yet.
The Hawkeyes have had the Cyclones' number in the past three seasons, as they have beaten the Cyclones in the last three games by 21 points combined.
This game is a part of a 12-sport event called the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series between Iowa and Iowa State. For each game that a team beats the other, the winning team earns two points, except for football, where they get three points.
Iowa is currently leading the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series 7-6.