AMES – There will be one very notable absence Saturday when Iowa State’s senior class plays it final regular season game at Hilton Coliseum.
Star point guard Alison Lacey won’t be in uniform and may not even be in the building for the No. 13 Cyclones’ 2 p.m. game against Colorado. Lacey is fighting a respiratory illness that caused her to miss Wednesday’s loss at Oklahoma State and will keep her out of the lineup until next week’s Big 12 Conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo.
“She’s had trouble breathing and she’s real run down,” Coach Bill Fennelly said Thursday. “She’s better today but not anywhere where we would gamble at all to play her.”
Lacey did not travel to Stillwater, Okla., and has not done anything basketball related since ISU’s win over Kansas State last Saturday.
Doctors have ruled out mononucleosis, which Lacey battled last year.
ISU (22-6, 10-5 Big 12) has clinched a top four seed and first-round bye in the conference tournament and would secure the No. 2 seed with a victory. A loss to the Buffaloes (13-15, 3-12) could affect NCAA Tournament seeding, but that’s a risk Fennelly is willing to take.
Lacey ranks fifth in the league in scoring (17.1), is second in assists (6.5) and first in free-throw percentage (88.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.2).
“There’s no reason to push it,” Fennelly said. “We have to figure out the best way for our team to have its best chance in the postseason. That is to have Aus (Lacey) as rested and ready to go as possible.”