Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State gets key contributions from Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw against Oklahoma State

In first game as point guard, she has 18 points, 7 assists, but 14 turnovers in 74-63 win

Iowa State Cyclones guard Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa State Cyclones guard Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

AMES — The Iowa State women’s basketball team has two known commodities on offense in Ashley Joens and Kristin Scott.

The two average 21.5 and 14.6 points, respectively. The key for the Cyclones is getting a third option going.

In Iowa State’s 74-63 win over Oklahoma State on Wednesday, the Cyclones got their desired third option in freshman Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw.

Joens had 23, Scott had 18 and Espenmiller-McGraw also finished with 18 points and added seven assists.

Espenmiller-McGraw also had an eye-popping 14 turnovers.

“I thought Maggie was really good,” coach Bill Fennelly said. “Yeah, she had a lot of turnovers and some of those are her fault but I would say most of them were my fault because of the position I put her in and her teammates didn’t help her sometimes.

“It’s like a quarterback, when you throw an interception, it’s not always your fault. Sometimes the receivers don’t run the right route or someone doesn’t block.”

This was Espenmiller-McGraw’s first game as a full-time point guard — in previous games she played more off the ball. Fennelly expected some growing pains because he’s seen growing pains from freshman point guards.

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“The one thing (Espenmiller-McGraw) now has is she broke my daughter-in-law’s (Lyndsey (Medders) Fennelly) record,” Fennelly said with a laugh. “Lyndsey, when she was a freshman, we kind of threw her into the wolves against Colorado and she had 10 or 12 turnovers — it was a lot. She had a triple-double with turnovers.

“So that honor of most turnovers now goes to Maggie.”

But even with the high number of turnovers, Espenmiller-McGraw never got rattled. She hit a 3-pointer as the third-quarter buzzer sounded and also made key free throws down the stretch as Oklahoma State was trying to claw back in the game.

Espenmiller-McGraw finished 3 of 6 from 3-point range and 7 of 8 from the free throw line.

Her ability to not get rattled is an attribute Fennelly is still getting used to.

“Her composure is really good,” Fennelly said. “She doesn’t get flustered. She kind of has that Ashley Joens blank stare and that can be frustrating to me because I can’t read her — I’m learning how to coach her. I’m looking at other things from her.

“I always told her, ‘When you play point guard at Iowa State, it is the best position and it is the worst position.’ And she got both ends of that today. I thought she impacted success in a really positive way.”

l Comments: benv43@gmail.com

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