The Iowa State women are a victory away from a trip to the "Sweet Sixteen". The Cyclones take on seventh rated Rutgers tonight at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Cyclones are 21-12 and opened the tournament with a three point win over Georgia Tech on Saturday.
With a win the Cyclones will travel to Greensboro, North Carolina for the regional semifinals. Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly says a trip to the Sweet 16 is very special and they will have to play at a high level and beat a great team Fennelly says they know the other team is better than them, but they only have to play better for 40 minutes.
The Cyclones need to find a way to score against a Rutgers team that prides itself on defense. Fennelly says they expect some full court pressure, but he says Rutgers plays great half court defense as well and the numbers they hold other teams to are staggering.
These teams met in the 1998 NCAA Tournament in Ames and Rutgers claimed a hard fought 62-61 win. Fennelly says that was the game that might have change the culture of their fan base forever, as the fan saw what it took to play at such a great level, and the next year they went on to beat U-Conn.
Cyclone junior guard Heather Ezell says the Cyclones will need a great effort. She says Rutgers is a team that has been in the top ten almost every year and have great athletes.
Sophomore guard Allison Lacey says the Cyclones will need to be strong with the ball as they will be in their face all the time and hard to beat off the dribble. That will be the second game of the evening. The opener has Oklahoma State taking on Florida State.