State of the Cyclones: Reviewing the women’s basketball team


Welcome back, fans, for our second-to-last State of the Cyclones looking at the women’s basketball team.  The women’s team has been, quite possibly, the most successful Cyclone team over the past 5-10 years and has sustained fans during poor stretches from the other sports.

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Last season was a strong one for the team as they went 20-11 overall with a 9-9 mark in conference play.  The Big 12 conference for WBB is a very competitive one, containing powerhouses Oklahoma and Baylor, with the always-solid Texas to boot.  ISU is probably the fourth-best team and I’d put them on even footing with Texas for consistent results year-to-year.

Significant wins came last year in the form of a 83-70 win over Iowa and two over Kansas.  Unfortunately, they finished on a losing streak with losses Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tournament and Florida State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The team lost All-Big 12 player Hallie Christofferson to graduation, and so the role of senior leader will be filled by Nikki Moody, who averaged 12.5 ppg on her way to second-team Big 12 honors.  The most exciting players for this year are probably Claire Ricketts and Bryanna Fernstrom.  These two incoming first-years stand 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-5, respectively, and should give the Cyclones a huge advantage over many teams.  There will be a learning curve, but expect big things from this duo as time goes on.

Mar 8, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Bill Fennelly reacts to a call in action against the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in the quarter finals at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The team has long been led by head coach Bill Fennelly, who is entering his 19th year with Iowa State.  His record at ISU is 416-193, which is good for an average of 22 wins per year.  He has a .703 career winning percentage and has taken the team to eight-straight NCAA appearances, which very few coaches have done.  Finally, Fennelly was awarded a lifetime contract after the completion of the 2006-2007 season to ensure he will retire wearing the cardinal and gold.

There is every reason to be excited about another good year for the women’s team; they are consistent, talented, and well-coached.  The team opens with its exhibition game against William Penn on November 4th.

We have only one sport left, Men’s Basketball, so join us for the triumphant finish to State of the Cyclones later this week!