Green Bay in the Big Dance: Scouting Iowa State
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Since learning of his team's NCAA Tournament opponent, Green Bay head women's basketball coach Matt Bollant has delved into film in preparation of facing 10th-seeded Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa on Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. CT.
GreenBayPhoenix.com caught up with Bollant on Wednesday afternoon to ask him about what to expect from the Cyclones, talk about some of their strengths, and to discuss the team's personnel. To watch an interview with Bollant, click here.
SCOUTING THE CYCLONES
An at-large member of the Big 12 Conference, Iowa State has compiled an 18-12 record overall this season, including 9-9 in its conference slate. The Cyclones enter Saturday's evening's contest having lost three of its last four games in a row following a stretch in which it won six of its last seven games.
Three-point shooting jumps off the stat sheet when looking at the Cyclones. The team has knocked down 218 three-pointers on the season, an average of 7.3 triples per game which ranks 18th nationally. No Iowa State player has made as many threes as the 50 made by Green Bay junior Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) or the 49 knocked down by junior Lydia Bauer (Lake Zurich, Ill.), but Iowa State has four players that have made at least 38 triples.
Iowa State really gets to the foul line. The team has made 97 more free throws than its opponents, knocking down 401 and shooting 72.8 percent on the season. Head coach Bill Fennelly's squad also takes pride in not fouling and putting opponents on the line, as the Cyclones have been whistled for 119 fewer fouls than their foes.
With starting frontline players listed at 6-foot-2 and
6-foot-3 and a reserve player standing at 6-foot-7, Iowa State has size. The
Cyclones use this side to their advantage on the glass with a rebounding margin
of plus-5.9 that ranks second in the Big 12 and 29th in the country. Junior
Chelsea Poppens, a 6-foot-2 junior, averages 10.7 rebounds per game, including
an impressive 4.5 on the offensive glass.
IOWA STATE PROBABLE STARTERS
G: #4 Nikki Moody, Fr., 5-8 (10.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.4 apg, 41-139 3FGs)
G: #10 Lauren Mansfield, Sr., 5-7 (8.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 45-140 3FGs)
G: #23 Chassidy Cole, Sr., 5-8 (1.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.6 apg)
F: #33 Chelsea Poppens, Jr., 6-2 (14.3 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 123-172 FTs, 129 off. rebounds)
F: #5 Hallie Christofferson, Soph., 6-3 (10.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, team-best 37.6% 3FGs)
FROM POTENTIAL TO POTENTIAL ALL-AMERICANS
Both Green Bay and Iowa State will both feature potential All-Americans leading their respective teams in Julie Wojta (Francis Creek, Wis.) and Poppens, respectively. Wojta, the Horizon League Player and Defensive Player of the Year, will be playing in her school-record seventh NCAA Tournament game (along with Hannah Quilling). Two of those games were in Ames when she was a youthful sophomore and averaged 11 points and seven rebounds in the NCAA Tournament.
Poppens, a unanimous All-Big 12 selection this season as a junior, averages 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game to lead Iowa State. As a starting freshman, the 6-foot-2 Poppens had eight points and five rebounds in a 60-56 second-round win over Green Bay.
While the more experiences stars will get the majority of the attention on Saturday, two freshmen will be playing key roles in their first NCAA Tournament games. Green Bay's Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) and Iowa State's Nikki Moody will start at point guard, with both coming off career-best games. Lukan had a career-high 20 points in Green Bay's 66-53 win over Detroit in the Horizon League Championship and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Moody, a Big 12 All-Freshman Team selection, is averaging 10 points per game and is coming off a 21-point outing against Kansas State in the conference tourney. She has started 28 of 30 games and is averaging 4.4 assists per contest.
Iowa State has two important players coming off the bench, including 6-foot-7 Anna Prins, a junior that scored 13 points in the NCAA Tournament meeting with Green Bay two seasons ago. Prins has averaged over 17 points per game in four previous NCAA games. Cyclone freshman Brynn Williamson averages just 19 minutes per game but leads Iowa State in three-pointers made and attempted (45-142). Williamson chips in 5.9 points per game.
The meeting between Green Bay, the Horizon League regular season and tournament champions and Iowa State, an at-large bid from the Big XII Conference, will take place at Hilton Coliseum on Saturday, March 17 at 5:30 p.m. CT. Green Bay has an unblemished road record of 12-0 while Iowa State is 14-2 this season on its home court. The winner will play either second-seeded Kentucky (25-6) or No. 15 seed, McNeese State (26-7) on Monday, March 19.
For ticketing information, please visit Cyclones.com. Single-session and all-session ticket packages are available. All-session tickets can be purchased for $30 for adults and $25 for youth (high school and younger). Single-session tickets are being sold for $18 for adults and #13 for youth.
To follow all of the action throughout Green Bay's trip to the NCAA Tournament, check out Tournament Central presented by Taco Bell.