116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES - Iowa State hadn't played in a week and it showed Wednesday night against last-place Kansas.
The Cyclones shot just 33 percent in the first quarter and 26 percent in the second. But strong defensive play and good rebounding kept it ahead for much of the half.
Iowa State found its groove and ratcheted up its play in the second half to put away Kansas for an 83-53 Big 12 women's basketball win win.
The Cyclones (16-9, 12-6) shot 48 percent from the field in the second half and kept their same defensive energy and rebounding intensity.
'We had to get back into the flow of the game and adjust to how they were playing,” Iowa State's Ashley Joens said. 'Once we got going, we were fine and confident and we were able to knock down our shots. We were also aggressive on defense and that helped us out throughout the game.”
The Jayhawks (7-14, 3-16) shot just 32 percent from the field in the game and Iowa State out-rebounded Kansas 54-32. The Cyclones were able to pull down 23 offensive rebounds and had 17 second-chance points.
'Any time you can get rebounds like that, especially on the offensive end, you can get second-chance shots, that definitely helps,” Joens said. 'It's another opportunity to get the ball in the basket. And on the defensive end, getting those rebounds helps get us in transition and score quick.”
As usual, Joens led the way for the Cyclones. The star junior from Iowa City had 23 points and 14 rebounds - seven offensive rebounds and seven defensive rebounds.
Joens was aided by Kristin Scott, who was one of the only Cyclones who had a strong opening 20 minutes, scoring 10 first-half points. She finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.
'Obviously to start the game, we couldn't make anything but we were still hanging around,” ISU Coach Bill Fennelly said. 'We played a really, really efficient last three minutes of the half and a lot of that was because of Kristin. That was the turning point and then we came out and played a really good third and fourth quarter.”
Reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Week Lexi Donarski struggled mightily in the first half, going 0-for-7 from the field. She was able to turn it around in the second half, making four of her six shots to finish with 11 points.
Four Cyclones pulled down at least seven rebounds and, with the regular season ending, that effort is something Fennelly hopes his team can carry into the Big 12 tournament and beyond.
'It's not something we've been historically good at, so hopefully it's something our kids can draw upon,” Fennelly said. 'In the women's game, you're not going to out-jump somebody and go get a rebound above the rim. You have to go after the ball.
'A lot of times, it was three blue jerseys and one white jersey and it was about who wanted the ball more. We all did a great job of going after the ball and rebounding out of our area of the floor instead of just getting the ones that came to us.
'I thought we went after it really hard tonight, which is encouraging because whoever we play next in the postseason is going to be really good and probably pretty big. We better commit to it and hopefully it's something we can continue to do.”