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Senior Day No. 2 is here for Iowa State women’s basketball star Ashley Joens
Cyclones host Texas Tech in regular-season finale Saturday
AMES — Ashley Joens won’t be writing a speech for the senior day festivities that will follow No. 23 Iowa State’s regular-season finale Saturday against Texas Tech.
A few strokes from a red pen will suffice.
“It’s the same as last year,” said the Cyclones’ senior star. “I edited it a little but, but it’s almost the same.”
Joens — who rewrote ISU’s record book — has become the program’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder by a wide margin and will play her last regular-season game at Hilton Coliseum against the Red Raiders (18-12, 6-11).
“I think she’s missed two (or three) practices in five years,” ISU head coach Bill Fennelly said. “She shows up. She works hard. She’s never complained about anything. She’s done everything we’ve asked her to do.
“She’s ultra-skilled and will have records that will never be touched.”
Joens chose to come back for an extra year because of COVID-19 and has helped the Cyclones (18-9, 10-7) position themselves for another strong run in next week’s Big 12 tournament, as well as the NCAA tournament that begins the following week.
Last season, ISU advanced to the Big 12 championship game before falling in overtime, 82-73, to No. 7 Texas. The Cyclones then reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2010.
“We’re really excited about the postseason and what it has to offer because we’ve been able to beat every team in the Big 12,” senior center Morgan Kane said. “We need to just go in there with that mindset.”
Joens’ mindset has never wavered despite having to face double- and triple-teams most of the past four seasons as well as physical play throughout her celebrated career.
“It seems crazy that five years have flown by and it’s going to be the end here soon,” Joens said.
But a goodbye to Hilton doesn’t mean a farewell to basketball. The Cyclones plan to remain relevant deep into March — and seniors such as Joens, Kane and Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw will try to make that happen.
“This year has hit us with a lot of adversity and we had to learn how to adjust and be flexible,” Joens said. “That’s life. Everything’s not always going to be easy, but you have to find different ways to compete and continue to find ways to be successful.”