AMES — Alison Lacey was wiped out after Tuesday night’s hard-fought NCAA tournament win over Green Bay at Hilton Coliseum.
The Iowa State point guard still is getting her strength and wind back after sitting out three weeks with pneumonia. She of course will play Sunday when the Cyclones (25-7) take on No. 1 seeded Connecticut, and will do so after getting some much-needed rest.
ISU got past Lehigh with ease, but had to fight hard for a second-round win over Green Bay and its physical defense. Lacey played 36 minutes, something she hadn’t done in more than three weeks.
“She’s pretty worn down,” Coach Bill Fennelly said. “It’s not just the physical nature of the games, the emotional drain it had on her was just as bad.”
Lacey got Wednesday and Thursday off. She did practice some Friday before ISU took off for Dayton, Ohio, and its Sweet 16 match-up with the unbeaten Huskies, who sit at 35-0 right now.
The first-team all-Big 12 pick would like to be in more of a rhythm and continue getting back her shooting touch and timing with teammates, but Lacey’s body needs to recover more than anything.
She may have to go the whole way for the Cyclones to have a chance at snapping UConn’s 74-game win streak.
“There isn’t a whole lot of time left,” Fennelly said. “She needs to be as rested as she can be.”