Wildcats (9-11, 3-6 Big 12) will head into Ames, Iowa on Saturday to take
on Big 12 foe, the Iowa State Cyclones (15-5, 4-5 Big 12). The Wildcats head into Saturday’s game on a five-game losing streak in Ames.
Although the Wildcats have had their difficulties playing in Ames, senior leadership should help immensely with the raucous crowd they will surely face.
“Composure is a really big thing that we’re going to need to have because we are on their home floor this time,” senior guard Katya Leick said. “They’re going to have their fan base, which is enormous, and we need to be able to keep our composure when they go on their runs.”
The Wildcats will need a full team effort to upset the Cyclones. A big factor in the team’s success will be the play of freshman guard, Leticia Romero. She leads the team in points and assists, averaging 14.8 points and 4.8 assists per game. Romero has confidence that the team will step up to the challenge.
“What our team needs is for everyone to step up and play well, just like we did against Oklahoma,” Romero said. “We have a good chance to win if we all step up and play together.”
Iowa State enters the game ranked No. 23 in the country, and could have revenge on their minds. In their last meeting, the Wildcats upset the Cyclones in Bramlage Coliseum.
“Iowa State is a very talented team that can shoot and post equally well,” Leick said. “Coaching is what gives us a chance. Our coaches will prepare us to the upmost and it is our responsibility to follow the game plan.”
Romero was an assist shy of a triple double last game, and the team may need a similar performance against Iowa State to pull off the upset. She will be the focal point for the Cyclones defense, but Romero said she thinks her team’s own defense will be the key to this game.
“I think in any moment someone on our team can step up and have a great offensive game, but defense is the key to the game,” Romero said. “Last game we had four people score in double figures, and that will be great if it happens again.”
This young Wildcat team could face be facing their toughest road test to date.
“The energy that their fans bring for them is unreal,” Leick said. “When they score, it gets so loud that you can’t hear a thing.”
Tip off will be at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday. This is the first of a two-game stint against ranked opponents. After playing Iowa State, the Wildcats will travel to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown, W.Va.