Van Winkle: Last night was something special
Last night’s Iowa State women’s game was unlike anything I’d ever seen at Hilton Coliseum. Three technical fouls, a fan ejection, emotions flying all throughout the arena, all capped off by Bill Fennelly jumping up and down like a child on Christmas morning. I’ve been going to Iowa State men and women’s games for eight years since I moved to Ames in 2005. The only time I have heard Hilton louder than last night was last Monday. I kid you not. There may have been a few thousand fewer fans, but you diehard fanatics created something electric. If you were there, you know exactly what I mean.
This should summarize last night’s excitement.
Anna Prins said it best, “Hilton Magic.” If it wasn’t magic, I don’t know what it was. But it was fun. The senior speeches at the end were just icing on the cake to a great night at Hilton. Anna Prins, Chelsea Poppens and Amanda Zimmerman will be missed, that’s for sure. But the fun is just beginning. The Cyclones needed that win last night. After their worst loss of the season against TCU, Bill Fennelly’s team came right back and clinched second in the Big 12. A 2-seed in Dallas means Iowa State won’t have to face Baylor until the championship game. That’s huge.
The Twister Sisters are a lock for the NCAA Tournament. There’s no doubt about that. 12-6 in the Big 12 is impressive but they’ve got something more to prove. It’s going to take their best basketball from start to finish, but a Big 12 conference title is not out of the picture.
Saturday’s loss to TCU left many Cyclone fans perplexed. Last night’s game brought everybody back in.
If the ladies can play like they did in the final stretch last night, if Cyclone fans bring the energy, if the magic can stay with this team, then something special just might happen.