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Ashley Joens shines in No. 20 Iowa State’s 84-56 rout of last-place TCU
Joens scores 22 points in ISU rout
AMES — Inside or outside. On the move or spotted up. Iowa State women’s basketball all-time leading scorer Ashley Joens was so good, it didn’t matter where her shots came from.
She calmly made them as the No. 20 Cyclones breezed by last-place TCU, 84-56, Saturday at Hilton Coliseum.
“Just a really, really good performance,” ISU head coach Bill Fennelly said of Joens, who finished with 22 points on 7-for-12 shooting and didn’t turn the ball over once in 30 minutes. “It’s hard to believe she’s only got one more shot at it (at Hilton). I think (the 11,227 fans) saw one of the better first halves that she's ever played here and hopefully she’s got one more good one in her.”
Joens scored 20 points in the first half alone. The former Iowa City High star only needed 10 field goal attempts to put up those gaudy numbers. She also added seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes to help ISU (18-8, 10-6 Big 12) build a commanding 47-24 lead.
“We were knocking down shots, getting rebounds,” said Joens, who added 11 rebounds and three assists. “We were just playing really well together.”
Center Morgan Kane chipped in a career high-tying 17 points for the Cyclones, who have won three of their past four games. ISU remains mathematically capable of attaining a top-two Big 12 Tournament seed, but would likely need to win out in order to retain slim hopes of that happening.
The Cyclones entered Saturday fourth in the conference standings, one game behind Oklahoma State and two behind co-leaders Texas and Oklahoma. The Longhorns beat the Sooners, 67-45, on Saturday, thus opening up ISU’s odds-challenged potential for climbing up to the No. 2 seed.
But wherever the Cyclones end up being seeded in Kansas City, they’re riding high heading into Wednesday’s road game at Kansas.
“Our identity is we have seven kids we’re gonna play, for the most part,” Fennelly said. “You have to guard the right way, because we’re not gonna take you out of your offense. We’re not gonna block your shots. We’e completely undersized, but we’re smart and we’re skilled. If we do the things that we know we can do, we can compete and I think we’ve done that the last four games.”
Saturday’s game didn’t start out on such solid ground, however. The Horned Frogs (7-20, 1-15) connected on 7 of their first 10 shots and led 15-12 midway through the first quarter.
ISU then went on a 13-3 run capped by Lexi Donarski’s 3-pointer at the buzzer to lead by seven, at 25-18, after one quarter.
That lead would rapidly expand throughout the second quarter, as Joens sank two 3-pointers and converted a conventional 3-point play to help the Cyclones close the first half on a 15-2 run.
“We were playing faster in the second quarter and I think Lexi’s 3 at the end of the first quarter was a huge momentum swing for us,” ISU point guard Emily Ryan said.
ISU led by as many as 39 points in the second half and beat TCU for the sixth straight time. So Joens and her fellow Cyclone starters could sit back, relax, and watch ISU’s reserves play most of the fourth quarter.
“It’s really fun when you can get everyone in the game and be able to support our teammates like they do when we’re out there playing,” Joens said.