Big XII: Cyclones Relieved, but Re-focused

By Jean Neuberger - March 07, 2007

I know that Iowa fans would probably not want to hear this, but the Iowa State Cyclones have been the gold standard for us members of the media. They were very excited to talk basketball during Media Days, and after this afternoon's hard-fought 57-45 win over Kansas State, they were just as excited and friendly in post-game discussions.

After the general post-game conference, Iowa State's Lyndsey Medders was nice enough to meet me outside the tunnel to their locker room for a quick interview.

"I wasn't completely happy with how I played today," said Medders. "Thankfully, my teammates stepped up for me."

I asked Medders why K-State seems to give the Cyclones such tough games, as the Cyclones won two very close games against the Wildcats during the regular season.

"They know how to score," she said. "They score at will, and they're a tough defensive team as well. They play hard."

Megan Ronhovde added to Medders's comments. Ronhovde, who wasn't at the general media presser, actually talked to me from just inside the Cyclone locker room. ISU's locker room had a small lobby, and thanks to their SID's invitation and Ronhovde's always generous manner, I was able to ask her a few questions.

"I think they're very similar to us," she said. "Their size, their speed, their style of's very much in common with ours. We've been fortunate to just find the way to win games against teams like Kansas State."

Despite only scoring one point on a free throw that rolled around the rim before finally falling through, Ronhovde was pleased with her defensive efforts, as she led her team with nine rebounds, many of them clutch ones late in the second half.

"It seems like it's one way or the other," Ronhovde said. "The last few games, I've been scoring a lot more points offensively. Today, I took some shots, and unfortunately, they didn't go in. But when that happens, I tend to work harder on my defensive game, and today was one of those days."

When asked about Nebraska, both players, along with Nicky Wieben, felt that there was unfinished business left to do, and beating Nebraska was part of that business.

"The fact that we lost the tie-breaker to them, that will definitely motivate us," said Medders. "We hope that they'll come out nervous...because I know we won't. We've got a lot to play for...a lot."

Ronhovde agreed.

"We've played them twice," she said. "We know a lot about them, and they know a lot about us. It should be a great game; a game that we're going to have to be ready for."

And they will. Iowa State's maturity is impressive on the basketball court. It's their class that's impressive off of the court.

Posted by Jean Neuberger at 01:16 AM on March 07, 2007

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