AMES — The last time the Iowa State women’s basketball team lost to Texas, it went on a four-game winning streak that included a win against then-No. 6 Baylor.
Coach Bill Fennelly saw his team improve throughout that mini-winning streak until Iowa State lost to Texas again on Saturday.
Now, he wants to see his team rebound once again after a loss and keep learning, improving and, obviously, winning.
Iowa State (10-5, 6-2 Big 12) plays Kansas State (5-7, 0-5) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (ESPN+) in Manhattan, Kan.
The Wildcats are winless in conference play and the Cyclones already beat them once this season, 91-69.
“For any team that’s growing, one of the things you have to learn quickly is that you have to have a short memory,” Fennelly said. “The wins go away quickly, and the losses need to, as well. You need to learn and move on. We go back on the road for our next game and then play five games in 12 days.
“You don’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for yourself.”
The area Fennelly felt like Iowa State improved in the most after its first Texas loss was having better offensive balance.
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Obviously Ashley Joens still is the star. The junior has averaged 24.6 points and 9.1 rebounds this season, but other players have stepped up to help take the load off.
“Players have had their game or their half where they’ve shown they can contribute at times when we need it,” Fennelly said. “I think we’re getting better play out of some of the people on our bench — Maddie Wise was really good during that winning streak.”
Wise, a senior, had a double-double against Texas Tech with 10 rebounds and 10 assists and scored at least nine points in three of the four games during Iowa State’s winning streak.
“We need to come into practice ready to go and focus on the small things and being ready to play to put together another run,” Wise said. “It starts with energy and that leads to execution. Just knowing that we’re capable of going on another four-game winning streak again is huge. But we can’t take any game lightly because any team in this conference can win on any given day.
“We need to come out ready to go if we expect to get wins.”