Iowa State football drops out of College Football Playoff Poll

After being ranked No. 21 in the College Football Playoff poll last week, the newest CFP poll, which was released today, has Iowa State off of the list. 

The Cyclones were ranked No. 15 a couple of weeks ago after defeating TCU on Oct. 28. After two straight losses at West Virginia and against Oklahoma State, the Cyclones were taken off of the CFP poll. 

Iowa State will look to get back into the win column this weekend as the Cyclones head south to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday on FSN. 

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Iowa State softball team land top prospects for upcoming season

Iowa State softball head coach Jamie Pinkerton is using a famous Iowan saying to create a new atmosphere in Ames, Iowa.

“If they build it they will come.”

Pinkerton comes back to Iowa State as the new softball coach, with a potent recruiting class.

Announced on Tuesday, Pinkerton brings in the No. 34 ranked recruiting class in the country per FloSoftball.

Jayden McKeague, Shannon Mortimer, Kaitlyn Moses, Mikayla Ramos and Kasey Simpson are the new Cyclones to be added to the softball roster starting in the 2018-19 season.

Simpson, the No. 33 ranked recruit in the class, and Mortimer, the No. 139 recruit, highlight the recruiting class as two of the nation’s top-150 prospects, according to FloSoftball.

McKeague, a catcher out of Huntington Beach, California, comes to Iowa State from Edison High School.

She previously played for Firecrackers softball club in Southern California.

McKeague comes in with a lot of potential to add quality skill to the catcher position, a skill set Pinkerton is excited to add to the team.

“We are excited to sign Jayden [McKeague],” Pinkerton said via a press release. “She is from Southern Californian, but has Iowa State ties and we feel that she will help this team address the lack of depth behind the plate. McKeague is a very good receiver that is highly eager, which helps our pitching staff. Offensively, she is a line drive hitter that can help our lineup produce runs.”

Mortimer, a pitcher from Winchester, Massachusetts, was a highly-touted prospect who excelled for Northbridge High School and Beverly Bandits club team.

She is a two-time Central Massachusetts First Team All-Star and a finalist for the Gatorade Player of the Year.

This right handed pitcher comes into Ames after going 13-2 with a 1.17 ERA and 174 strikeouts as a junior.

“With the late hire of our staff, and with Brianna Weilbacher graduating this spring, we were excited to be able to land a pitcher of Mortimer’s quality late in the recruiting process,” Pinkerton said in the press release. “She is a power pitcher that also has the ability to mix speeds, and that is essential to be successful at this level.”

Local Iowa native Kaitlyn Moses comes into the program with a versatile ability to play multiple positions, bringing a new dynamic of play for the upcoming season. Moses is out of Dowling Catholic High School and was named Second Team All-State in Class 5A as a junior in 2017. This came after she accumulated a .381 batting average and 46 RBIs, a team-high.

“In Kaitlyn Moses, we have signed a very versatile athlete,” Pinkerton said in the press release. “She can play several positions that will help our team depth. She is a catcher and corner infielder that has the tools to be a very good player. She knows what it takes to compete at this level as she plays for the nationally competitive Iowa Premier. We are excited to welcome her to Iowa State.”

Mikayla Ramos, a native of of Riverside, California, comes to Iowa State with a potential of becoming a power hitter. Out of Martin Luther King High School, she excelled with a .355 batting average and 13 home runs during the 2016-17 season.

“[Ramos] will help this program by providing depth to the catching corps. She is a very good defensive catcher that handles pitchers very well. Offensively, she could help the middle of our lineup with her power” Pinkerton said via press release over the role and potential Ramos brings to the team.

The highest of this recruiting class is No. 33 player in the country, per FloSoftball, Kasey Simpson.

Her high ranking came after rising from No. 78 in the FloSoftball 2018 Hot 100 during her sophomore year, to the No. 33.

The Keller, Texas native is the highest recruit ever to sign a letter of intent to the Iowa State softball program.

Simpson helped her team win back-to-back 6A Texas State Championships and was named 2017 Texas Sport Writers 6A Player of the Year. She was also the 2017 Dallas Morning News Offensive Player of Year.

“She will be a very good addition to our middle infield and will bring power and athleticism to our lineup,” Pinkerton said via a press release. “We feel she will help our program immediately. She has been a part of a great summer organization, the Texas Glory that has prepared her for the next level.

“Furthermore, she has won championships on the high school level that will only help our culture here at Iowa State.”

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Three takeaways from Iowa State’s loss to Milwaukee

Fans, players and coaches alike were not pleased with Iowa State’s performance against Milwaukee on Saturday, which resulted in a 74-56 loss. It was Iowa State’s first loss in a home opener since 1997.

Here are three takeaways from the game.

Cyclones can’t find a go-to scorer

Iowa State knew it would struggle in its half-court offense this season.

When the Cyclones needed a bucket last year, coach Steve Prohm could count on seniors Naz Mitrou-Long, Monte Morris, Matt Thomas or Deonte Burton to create something.

With all four of them gone, there isn’t an established go-to scorer on this year’s team. The Cyclones shot just 38.1 percent from the floor in the loss to Milwaukee and hit just 3-of-15 3-point attempts (20 percent).

To counter the offensive struggles, Prohm said, Iowa State needs to step it up in other areas.

“We need to play with a chip on our shoulder,” Prohm said. “A nastiness to prove people wrong and a toughness that we have so much resiliency and character about us that we’re going to fight through this. That’s what we need to be about.”



Iowa State junior Nick Weiler-Babb lays the ball in late in the game against Milwaukee. Weiler-Babb scored 11 points in the loss for the Cyclones.

Turnovers, turnovers and more turnovers

Iowa State also knew it didn’t have an established point guard entering this season. Through two regular season games, it’s pretty clear how much this team misses Monte Morris.

Collectively, the Cyclones compiled just five assists against Milwaukee. Last year, Morris averaged 6.2 per game by himself.

Not only that, but Iowa State had 18 turnovers. Having a positive assist-to-turnover ratio is a good sign; having 13 more turnovers than assists, however, makes it nearly impossible to win.

Nick Weiler-Babb and Donovan Jackson were the two primary point guards for Iowa State against the Panthers. They combined for zero assists and nine turnovers.

“As a team we set a goal for 10 or less turnovers,” said redshirt junior forward Zoran Talley Jr. “Tonight we came out with 18. We’ve got to take care of the ball.”



Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm gives direction to players late in the game against Milwaukee. The Cyclones lost their home opener for the first time in over 20 years, 74-56.

Cyclones looking to get to the free throw line

One of the few positives for Iowa State was its ability to get to the free throw line and actually convert when it got there.

Iowa State got to the line frequently against Emporia State in the exhibition, but hit just 61 percent of its free throws. Against Missouri, Iowa State was just 5-for-11 at the line.

Monday night, the Cyclones attempted 28 free throws and connected on 21 of them (75 percent). Talley Jr. hit 4-of-6, Lindell Wigginton hit 6-of-8, and Jeff Beverly hit a perfect 7-for-7.

Without a proven go-to scorer and a lack of 3-point shooters, Iowa State will need to rely on its ability to get to the line. When they get to the charity stripe, the Cyclones will then have to make a high percentage.

Monday’s game was a step in the right direction in that aspect, but there is still a long way to go for this team.

“You’ve just got to get better,” Prohm said. “We’re two games into the season. We have a lot to work on, we’ve got a lot to get better.”

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Peterson: Prohm knows the fallout that accompanies losses like what happened Monday


Iowa State coach says his team must block out the noise.
Randy Peterson/The Register

AMES, Ia. — Steve Prohm has been around basketball a long time. He’s seen highs — like his previous two seasons at Iowa State. He’s seen lows — like Monday night’s 74-56 loss to Milwaukee.

He also made clear Monday night that he knows the fallout that comes with playing as badly as his team played against a team picked to finish seventh or eighth in the 10-team Horizon League.

“You know what everybody’s going to say,” Prohm said after his team’s second loss this season. “You don’t have to check Twitter. You already know what’s on Twitter.”

What’s on Twitter isn’t nearly as significant as what’s on the boxscore:

Iowa State turnovers: 18.

Iowa State second-half shooting: 5-for-20, including 0-for-8 from 3-point range.

Iowa State assists: five.

Milwaukee points in the paint: 30.

That’s a formula for defeat, no matter who you’re playing.

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“As a team, we set a goal for 10 or less turnovers,”’ said Zoran Talley, who had eight points and nine rebounds Monday. “We had 18. That’s possessions that were just given away.”

The Cyclones had 18 turnovers and 16 baskets. If that’s not bad, then I don’t know what is.

Struggling was expected, after losing four very good starters from last season’s team. Struggling the way the Cyclones struggled Monday was a surprise.

Poor shot selection. No inside presence. No taking care of the ball. No leadership from the point guard position — no matter who was running the show.

No season-opening home win for the first time since losing to Northern Iowa in 1997.

A rebuild?

These Cyclones need a complete reboot.

“Everybody wants to talk offense, offense, offense, offense, offense,” Prohm said, using five times the word his team had none of. “We need to be the toughest, the nastiest, most competitive team in the country this year.

“That’s what we need to be. If we can get there, we’re going to do good things.”

Getting there, though, could be a problem — especially when veterans Nick Weiler-Babb and Donovan Jackson combine for nine turnovers, no assists and just six baskets.

It’ll be tough when an opponent scores so many points in the paint, too. And doubly tough with almost 20 turnovers.


Prohm discusses what Cameron Lard and Hans Brase brings his team.
Randy Peterson/The Register

There’s a silver lining, though. Cameron Lard and Hans Brase will be available to play when Iowa State’s season continues at 4:30 p.m. Thursday against Appalachian State in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tipoff, which is being held at Coastal Carolina, in Conway, S.C.

It’ll be the first time the Cyclones will be at full strength. Their roster suddenly will jump from eight scholarship players to 10.

The 6-9 Lard, a redshirt freshman, missed the first three games — roughly 10 percent of the season — for breaking an unspecified team rule. Brase, a 6-9 Princeton graduate transfer, missed the exhibition and two regular-season games while recovering from a second ACL surgery.

Both should add a much-needed inside presence.

Should? They had better add that inside presence, or it’ll to be a really long season.

“Cameron brings size and presence near the basket,” Prohm said. “He can change shots. He’s got a high motor. He can really run.

“Hans has an ability to stretch the defense with his shooting. He brings leadership.”

They’re not program-changers, but they’re at least steps in the right direction.

Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been with the Register for parts of five decades. Randy writes opinion and analysis of Iowa State football and basketball. You can reach Randy at or on Twitter at @RandyPete.

Source: Des Moines Register

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Iowa State men’s basketball struggles in turnovers and fouls in 74-56 loss to Milwaukee

Prior to the Milwaukee and Iowa State game tonight, the spread on ESPN favored Iowa State by 13.5 points. After a 74-59 loss at Missouri on Friday night, the Cyclones were back at Hilton Coliseum.

Their home.

After an early lead by Iowa State, it became apparent that the 13.5-point spread should’ve been favoring Milwaukee. The Panthers finished the game on top with a 74-56 final score, an 18-point win.

A Milwaukee team that finished dead last in the Horizon League last season and finished the 2016-17 season with an 11-24 record overall and a 4-14 record in the league.

It was the first time since 1997 that Iowa State dropped its home opener.

“Obviously we got to get a lot better,” said coach Steve Prohm. “We know it’s going to be a process of getting better… but we’ve been here, we’ve been in these situations. We’ve got a lot to work on.”



Iowa State senior Jeff Beverly is fouled while looking to make a move in the lane during the Cyclone’s 74-56 loss to Milwaukee.

Two of the biggest areas are turnovers and personal fouls.

Prior to the season, Prohm spoke at media day and said this team had to be more physical than previous seasons. Tonight, Iowa State showed its physicality, but a little too much.

The Cyclones finished the first half with 13 personal fouls and five of their eight eligible players on Monday had two fouls going into the half. That pattern stayed the same in the second half.

Iowa State tacked on another 11 personal fouls, making a total of 24 personal fouls, equaling Milwaukee’s total. None of the Cyclones fouled out, but Lindell Wigginton, Solomon Young and Jeff Beverly ended up with four fouls each.



Iowa State junior Zoran Talley dunks on a fast break during the first half against Milwaukee.

Prohm had to change his five players on the floor constantly, which left Iowa State out of rhythm most of the night.

“It’s tough,” Beverly said on the foul trouble Iowa State faced tonight. “We’ve gotta play smart. Keep playing smart without fouling.”

Along with fouling, Iowa State gave up the ball 18 times during the game, which resulted in 19 points off turnovers for Milwaukee. The Cyclones gave up 13 turnovers against Missouri on Friday night resulting in 11 points off turnovers.

Prohm wants to improve that number because the turnovers didn’t allow Iowa State to play its game. Instead, the Cyclones played Milwaukee’s game, which resulted in the loss tonight.



Iowa State junior Nick Weiler-Babb falls to the ground after being fouled on a drive to the hoop against Milwaukee.

“As a team we set a goal of 10 or less turnovers tonight,” said redshirt junior forward Zoran Talley Jr. “We came out with 18. We gotta take care of the ball because that’s just possessions being given away.”

Besides the turnovers and personal fouls, Prohm liked how the team shared the ball. There were many passes between Iowa State players tonight, which allowed the team to find open looks, but they weren’t able to put the ball in the hoop.

Iowa State went 3-for-15 from the 3-point line and 16-for-42 in total field goals. That’s 20 percent from behind the arc and 38.1 percent for total field goals.

The Cyclones field goal percentage was cut in half from the first half, 50 percent, to the second, 25 percent.

Prohm isn’t worried quite yet though.



Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm gives direction to players late in the game against Milwaukee. The Cyclones lost their home opener for the first time in over 20 years, 74-56.

“You’re going to go through tough moments in seasons,” Prohm said. “This is one of those tough moments and hopefully we have the character to continue to grow and get better.”

Iowa State is going to have to grow quickly because the team heads east to South Carolina tomorrow for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off that starts on Thursday.

Prohm said the team is going to look at film the next couple of days and prepare for an Appalachian State team to start the weekend of basketball for the Cyclones.

“We need to be the toughest, nastiest, most competitive team in the country this year,” Prohm said. “That’s what we need to be.”

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Peterson: Iowa State loses its first men’s basketball home-opener in 20 years

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AMES, Ia. — This rebuilding process Iowa State basketball Steve Prohm is in charge of is going to take more time than some people might have anticipated. Monday night’s  74-56 loss to Milwaukee is proof.

Poor shot selection. No inside presence. No taking care of the ball.

No season-opening season home win for the first time since losing to Northern Iowa in 1997.

A rebuild?

These Cyclones are in full reboot — after committing 18 turnovers, after the Panthers scored 30 points in the paint and after Iowa State showed next to no offensive rhythm with a lineup that consists of four new starters.

And it came against a team picked to finish seventh in the 10-team Horizon League.

Everyone knew that Iowa State would struggle this season. The unknown, however, was just how much.

Iowa State’s season continues at 4:30 p.m. Thursday against Appalachian State in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tipoff, which is being held at Coastal Carolina, in Conway, S.C.

It’ll be the first time the Cyclones will be at full strength — Cameron Lard and Hans Brase are expected to be eligible.

The 6-9 Lard, a redshirt freshman, missed the first three games — roughly 10 percent of the season — for breaking an unspecified team rule. Brase, a 6-9 Princeton graduate transfer, missed the exhibition and two regular-season games while recovering from a second ACL surgery.

Both should add a much-needed inside presence.

Source: Des Moines Register

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Cyclones drop home opener to Milwaukee

Iowa State got run out of the gym against Milwaukee Monday night, losing by a final score of 74-56.

The game started off well for the Cyclones.

Iowa State (0-2, 0-0 Big 12) jumped out to an eight-point lead with 14:46 left in the first half, thanks to a strong shooting start and good defense.

That lead quickly evaporated.

Iowa State compiled 11 first-half turnovers, six of which were live-ball turnovers. That led to 13 Milwaukee (2-0, 0-0 Horizon) points off turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

Milwaukee and Iowa State traded the lead five times in the first half, but the Panthers pulled ahead late in the frame. A three-pointer by Brock Stull with just three seconds left in the half gave the Panthers a 39-32 lead heading into the locker room.

In the second half, Milwaukee’s lead got extended as high as 13 points. Iowa State’s offense failed to get anything going.

Aside from a strong performance at the free throw line, the Cyclones couldn’t make anything work on offense.

Nick Weiler-Babb and Donovan Jackson were the primary point guards for the Cyclones, and they combined for nine turnovers and no assists.

The Panthers extended the lead throughout the second half and closed out the win.

The loss was Iowa State’s first in a home opener since 1997.

Source: Iowa State Daily

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Jeff Woody: New quarterback, new pleasant surprise; and a defense that… struggled


After watching the video, Noland was as good as his coach him to be.
Randy Peterson / The Register

Was it an interception? Was it an incompletion? Was it a touchdown?

Doesn’t matter, the game is over.

It’s easy to go back and blame the game on one call. Sure, that call going the other way likely ties the game to send it into overtime, but the game’s best played by this motto:

“Don’t put the game in the hands of an official and you’ll never have to scream at one.”

Outside of that final play, Iowa State had one of its best offensive outputs against an Oklahoma State team that — while not fielding a great defense — has a decent one. And with a 4th string quarterback, no less.

More: Saturday’s QB starter up in the air

ISU… Reloading at quarterback?


After the Cyclones’ starting quarterback, Kyle Kempt, left the game with an aggravated shoulder, the redshirt freshman took the field, and “he kept us in the game,” Lanning told reporters after the team’s 49-42 loss to Oklahoma State.
Tommy Birch / The Register

Young Zeb Noland hadn’t really taken a meaningful snap in college football ever. Yet when he came in, he was aggressive and confident. There were some throws that ended up not being perfect, yes. But there are certain throws that give a knot in the throat to anyone who’s ever played the game until it lands in the receiver’s hands. He attempted all of them: the out route from one hash to the opposite sideline, an in-cutting route right over the linebackers, the seam route into cover three, and the fade ball in the end zone. Nearly all of them landed.

The throw that made me really become a Noland fan, though, was the last fourth down completion to Montgomery. Many people who looked at that play wondered immediately why there wasn’t a throw to a player behind the first down marker. The linebackers were lined up at the line to gain and the safeties were five yards beyond that. His best option was his best player. He knew that if you give your best player the ball in clutch situations, more often than not, he will succeed. Many young quarterbacks would try and force a ball into an impossibly tight window past the yard marker. Not this one.

Analysis: Noland makes the most of the opportunity in Iowa State’s loss


The redshirt freshman took the field for the Cyclones after starting QB Kyle Kempt was sidelined with an aggravated shoulder late in the first half. Noland went 17-for-28 for 263 yards and just one interception in a 49-42 loss to OSU on Saturday.
Tommy Birch / The Register

Peterson: From QB drama to late-game calls, there’s never a dull moment with this team

The defense wasn’t great — but it wasn’t awful, either.

Okay, the section heading indicates some good things — and there were good things. But the tackling in the secondary was abysmal at times Saturday.

There were so many things that fit so well and pushed OSU into uncomfortable situations, but the tackling turned what should have been a three-yard loss into a 50 yard gain. Jaquan Bailey gets great push, bumps the ballcarrier sideways, Willie Harvey contains him and pushes him up the field, and the safety who was supposed to get him to the ground misses him completely. Which was aberrational for this team this season.

Other times, though, ISU was playing fantastic defense, and somehow the Cowboys just made a play. Both times Marcel Atemen (OSU wide receiver #3) scored a touchdown, ISU couldn’t have played the ball any tighter — just really good players making really good plays.

And you know what the great part is? ISU went punch for punch for punch for punch. Nothing intimidates this team. No loss of a quarterback, no comeback by a top 15 team, no 6’4 wide receiver, no bad call was going to stop them until the final horn sounded and the final referee’s call was made.

Now the milk is all over the floor. We can cry about it or we can go to the fridge and pour ourselves another glass.

The next fridge is in Waco, Texas.

Jeff Woody is a former Iowa State football player and writes weekly Cyclones football analysis for Cyclone Insider during the season.

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Source: Des Moines Register

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First road game offers tough test for Bill Fennelly and Iowa State women’s basketball

When the Iowa State women’s basketball team travels to Northern Iowa for a Tuesday night game, it’s a chance for a Fennelly family reunion. On the Cyclones’ side there is Fennelly and his eldest son Billy, then there is Steven, an assistant coach for the Panthers.



Iowa State senior Emily Durr celebrates a teammate hitting a three point shot late in the game against Wisconsin-La Crosse.

It’s not the first time the three have been on opposite sides, but it is the first time that they face each other as in-state rivals. Even though there is a basketball game to be played, Bill Fennelly knows it will be hard to put the family affair on the back burner for 40 minutes.

“This game is never any fun and now it’s miserable to be honest with you,” Fennelly said of facing UNI and Steven. “It’s a weird deal to have one son with me and Steven at UNI now.”

Although the family reunion offers a new flare to the Cyclones’ early season schedule, one thing that has always been in Ames for their early portion of the schedule is complete dominance in their first five games of every season since 2012.

Since 2012, Iowa State has gone a combined 21-4 in its first five games of those seasons, but Tuesday’s game may not see the dominant Iowa State team that has been there in the past.

First off, they are coming off a game where they squeaked out an 81-76 win in their season opener against a South Dakota team that went 23-9 a season ago. And it doesn’t get any easier against Northern Iowa.

Just like the Coyotes last season, the Panthers were a nine-loss team en route to 24-9 record and a NCAA Tournament berth.


ISU Womens vs. La Crosse

Freshman Madison Wise going in for a layup to score for the Cyclones on Nov. 5th. 

And if Iowa State’s 76-68 win against UNI last season is any indication to what Tuesday’s tilt is going to bring, it certainly sets up for a game that could be won by either team.

The only down side for the Cyclones is that they are without departed seniors Jadda Buckley and Seanna Johnson who led the team in scoring that game with 25 and 15 points, respectively. Instead, they have newcomers Bride Kennedy-Hopoate, Kristin Scott, Madison Wise and Rae Johnson, all of which played a meaningful role in the win over South Dakota.

“I wasn’t [expecting to play significant time against South Dakota],” Johnson said. “I enjoyed it. It was tough, but we pulled through.”

The size that overwhelmed South Dakota at times is certainly a threat against the Panthers as well, but it will need to be more consistent than last Friday’s game. The Panthers’ four tallest players stand at 6-foot-1, while Kennedy-Hopoate stands at 6-foot-4 and Scott at 6-foot-3, along with Meredith Burkhall.



Rae Johnson, guard, tries to control the ball during the Iowa State versus Wisconsin-La Crosse game on Nov. 5. The Cyclones won 93-50.

“It needs to play a bigger factor than it’s been playing,” Fennelly said. “Our inside game has not been very good. We’ve gotta coach it better, we’ve gotta play it better and it’s only an advantage if you play hard, angles are good and our post players can’t turn the ball over 12 times.”

Despite the size advantage, Fennelly pointed out that more it’s harder to play as a post player when the opposing player is significantly smaller.

Post will certainly be a key factor when the Cyclones take the court without senior guard Emily Durr for the first time. Durr, who was injured in the season open after she hyperextended knee, will be forced to sit out for at least this game.

“The one that is a senior and sort of knows our systems is going to be an assistant coach,” Fennelly said. “We’ve just got to limit the decisions that Rae [Johnson] has to make, that Nia [Washington] has to make.”

With or without their senior leader, the nine other players know that it’s a must win game against a talented Northern Iowa team.



Iowa State junior Bridget Carleton drives to the basket during the second half of the Cyclone’s exhibition game against Wisconsin-La Crosse on Nov. 5.

“Obviously losing Emily [Durr] is huge,” said junior guard Bridget Carleton. “Her leadership and just her experience and her calmness on the court we’ll miss a lot, but I think Rae [Johnson] and Nia [Washington] are ready to step in and get playing time.”

Source: Iowa State Daily

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