Big XII: Defensive Slugfest Reaches Halftime

By Jean Neuberger - March 06, 2007

It hasn't been the prettiest game stat-wise, but Iowa State has gone to halftime with a 24-20 win over Kansas State. Despite the Cyclones shooting just 6-21 from the field, they've played outstanding defense, and shut out K-State star Claire Coggins in the first half.

The stats don't tell the entire story though. Sure, K-State's shooting 24% from the field, and ISU is shooting 28.6%. However, this isn't due to sloppy play. Instead, this has been a showcase of very aggressive defensive play, as each team has battered and bruised each other in the first 20 minutes.

Shana Wheeler, Kansas State - Has 9 points and practically has carried the Wildcats offensively.
Toccora Ross, Iowa State - Has been the most aggressive player on the court, and leads ISU with 8 points
Megan Ronhovde, Iowa State - Tough on the glass, altered a lot of KSU shots, and leads all players with 4 boards

As halftime ensued, and I'm getting another diet Sunkist here, the Cyclone fans have been chanting cheers and trying hard to rev themselves up, as well as their team. No doubt, ISU has played a great defensive game. Their matchip zone has been trouble for KSU all game long. However, ISU must asset themselves as the aggressors to finish off the Wildcats. I've been impressed with the intensity of both teams, but ISU is a bigger, stronger bunch, and they need to use that more to their advantage this half.

Meanwhile, the K-State band leads the nation in taunting cheers. I've never heard a band yell hurl so many insults at players as I have heard from the Wildcat band. I guess the band feels that they, as well as their team, have nothing to lose. KSU is in this game because they are playing with reckless abandon, and it's paying off, as the longer they stay close, the tighter this game will become at the end.

Here's to an exciting second half in Oklahoma City!

Posted by Jean Neuberger at 04:40 PM on March 06, 2007

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