116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES — Iowa State women’s basketball star Ashley Joens has had a relatively slow start to the season. She’s averaged 16 points on just 28 percent shooting and grabbed eight rebounds per game through Iowa State’s first two games.
On Thursday against Drake (1-2), Joens and her sister Aubrey Joens had half of ISU’s points, leading the Cyclones (3-0) to a 98-76 victory.
“It almost looked like an Iowa City High game,” Iowa State Coach Bill Fennelly said. “Aubrey got off to a great start. For Ashley, it was almost one of those nights where she was unguardable. Then if you’re the opposing defense and you help on Ashley, Aubrey is sitting in the corner shooting 3s. It’s a hard thing to defend. When you have Aubrey spacing the floor and you have Ashley doing what she’s doing, it is hard to cover.”
Ashley had 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and 5-of-11 shooting from 3-point range. She also had 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Aubrey Joens actually led Iowa State’s offense through the first quarter and a half and kept the team afloat before Ashley caught fire. Drake held an 11-point lead in the second quarter and it would’ve been an even bigger lead had it not been for Aubrey.
Aubrey finished with 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field and 5-of-11 from 3-point range. Twelve of her 18 points came in the first half. She also had five rebounds and four steals.
“It’s definitely cool,” Ashley said of the sisters scoring half of Iowa State’s points. “I love when she has a great game. You love to see her confidence go up. She’s been playing really well this season. The last time we scored half our team’s points was high school.”
Sophomore Lexi Donarski and freshman Denae Fritz also contributed their fair share to the offense. Donarski had 17 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. Fritz had 12 points on an efficient 4-for-7 shooting from the field.
Fritz was also one of Iowa State’s better defenders on Thursday. While she didn’t have the steal numbers that the Joens sisters did, she was relentless and consistent with her defensive effort.
“She’s one of the toughest kids I’ve been around,” Fennelly said of Fritz. “The kid loves to compete. When she’s in the mode she was tonight, she changes our team. If we walk down an alley tonight, I’m taking her with me. I’ll promise you that.”
Katie Dinnebier led the Bulldogs with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting. She also had five assists, four rebounds, five assists and a steal.
She guarded Iowa State point guard Emily Ryan tough throughout the night and caused a bunch of problems for her.
Ryan finished with 13 points on 3-of-11 shooting. The normally steady-handed Ryan also had five turnovers thanks to Dinnebier’s defense.
“I think Fritz is going to be one of the best freshmen in the country,” Fennelly said. “And Drake’s Dinnebier, another freshman, had an incredible game, too.”
Drake’s Grace Berg also had an efficient night. Berg had 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting. What slowed Berg down was foul trouble. The Drake post player had four fouls for much of the second half.
Iowa State snapped a three-game Knapp Center losing streak with Thursday’s win.
The Cyclones’ next game is against Southern at noon Sunday (ESPN+).
Drake continues its in-state series with a trip to Iowa City to play Iowa at 2 p.m. Sunday (BTN+).