Twister Sister Summary - Ladies Dominate NDSU 80-51
To summarize this game I'll just paraphrase what Coach Fennelly said after the game - this was the most complete, team game the sisters have played all season. The sisters won 80-51 with a suffocating defense in the second half.
The first half, I am very proud to say, was the Anna Prins show. This was the first time that I've seen Anna seeming to have fun on the court. The sisters started a "big" lineup again as Pop, Prins, and Big C were in the lineup against a decidedly smaller NDSU squad. One exception was the 6'5" post for the northerners. It didn't matter as Prins showed several very nice soft hook shots off the dribble, hit a three, and made her close in shots that she's been known to miss. At the half she had 16 points, 4 boards and one block. I was tickled to death to see this performance.
As usual, Pop hustled all over the court. She missed several bunnies, but on some of those tries she was putting up good shots that just didn't fall. She fought for rebounds. She played defense. She was a machine on the court. Big C also played a great game as her athleticism really shined. Coach F. said that other coaches would have to be nuts if they hadn't noticed that Big C was one of the top frosh in the conference. She scored 11 points and pulled down 5 boards. A real curiosity was the four turnovers she had. Even Coach Fennelly noted after the game that none of her turnovers were passes. One was the oddest of all. Based on a new rule, you apparently cannot swing your arms and hit someone in the head (i.e. above the shoulders). Big C was called for an offensive foul (which is a turnover) for swinging her arms through the defender and giving her a love tap. The officials reviewed the play and then called it an intentional foul (the new rule). Pretty strange.
Bolte struggled early in this game but her leadership and hustle still made a difference. She came back to hit some treys and totaled 13 on the night. She is really the cog that makes this engine go. Loz had a pretty solid night with 5 points, 6 assists and 4 boards. She did a great job of managing the game and protecting the ball. She was clearly faster than the NDSU players and consistently fed the bigs inside.
This was a strange game in that the ladies seemed to be dominating throughout the first half. When I glanced at the stats and noticed that NDSU only had 9 rebounds in the half I shook my head. ISU had 20 some boards at the time and would end up dominating the boards 52-20. Somehow with ISU hitting over 50%, dominating the boards, playing great defense, SDSU kept the game close and scored 30 points in the first half. They were down 44-30. The game didn't seem that close.
It really didn't matter as our ladies in red came out in the second half and completely dominated the first 10 minutes as they held NDSU to 3 points during that time span. One of those points was the free throw from the Big C offensive foul. It was impressive to watch as they ladies communicated, moved, switched and did everything they needed to do. When they rebounded they move the ball up court and usually scored.
Fun Note - every player got to play in this one. Elly Arganbright was the last one off the bench with about 5 minutes left and believe me…the girls tried to feed her so she could score. She put up some good shots on open looks but nothing would fall as she was the only Sister to not score.
Player of the Game - Anna Prins. I'm often critical of Anna because of the huge upside she could bring to this team. Tonight she was impressive. She was JUMPING for rebounds! She was working hard around the basket. She was scoring. She ended up with 22 points, 9 boards, and ZERO fouls. Excellent game all the way around. I hope this is a huge confidence builder for her as Ms. Griner awaits on Saturday morning.
Interesting stat - quite unusual for the ladies, the team scored 40 points in the paint. The bigs tallied 52 of our 80 points.
So the ladies stand 12-2 after the non-conference season. They've beaten some very good teams in TCU and Michigan. They lost to a very good West Virginia squad and gave an illness bye to Iowa. They've shown they can play with good teams. Look at tonight….this same NDSU squad went into Lawrence and only lost by 8. Yes, the same Kansas team picked to finish in the top 4 of the conference and now stands at 13-1 (with a loss to Michigan). We are currently ranked 17th and start the Big 12 off with #1 Baylor. Keep in mind that we did beat Baylor last year at home. They've added some really good talent and will be poised to push us aside Saturday morning (game time 11AM). Yet, its possible that our ladies could go into Waco and pull out a win. It's going to take an extraordinary effort though.
My grade so far? A-. I thought about a B+, but when you consider the youth and the newcomers having to contribute at such a high level…they deserve the higher grade. Now the real test begins.