116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES — The most understated aspect of Iowa State all-time leading scorer Ashley Joens’ game is also the most important one.
Efficiency. And an uncanny and uncommon ability to stay out of slumps.
“You guys know I’m a huge baseball guy,” Cyclones head coach Bill Fennelly said after Joens’ 33-point performance in Sunday’s 99-76 win over Columbia. “If (St. Louis Cardinals star) Paul Goldschmidt goes 0-for-3, I’d bet money the next game he’s gonna get a hit. That’s Ash.”
Joens notched her 16th career 30-point game on just 14 field-goal attempts. She drilled seven of her 10 3-point tries and added 10 rebounds to record her 52nd career double-double.
Seventh-ranked ISU (4-0) led by as many as 34 points and outscored the hot-shooting Lions (3-2) 42-13 in points in the paint.
“We feel pretty good about where we’re at,” said Joens, who is 13-of-23 from long range in the past two games after a 2-of-14 start in the previous two. “After our last game (an 88-85 win at Northern Iowa), kind of keeping it close, we knew we had some things to clean up and get a little better at.”
Six-foot-6 transfer forward Stephanie Soares added 15 points for the Cyclones, who shot 50 percent or better for the second straight game after struggling to make shots at times in their first two games. ISU point guard Emily Ryan flirted with a triple-double before finishing with 13 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. She — along with most of the Cyclones starters — sat out the final five-plus minutes of the game.
“I joke about (how) you guys are gonna have trouble figuring out what to write about Ash,” Fennelly said. “Emily Ryan’s gonna be the next one. (Assistant coach) Billy (Fennelly) was really mad at me. He’s like, ‘Leave her in, she’s gonna get a triple-double.’ If she gets it, she gets it. She’s not getting it in a game where we’re up 30 points.”
Columbia hit 18 3-pointers Sunday — the most ever given up by an ISU women’s basketball team. But they also hoisted up more attempts from long range than any previous foe (42) and shot 36.8 percent overall.
“That is a really good team,” Fennelly said of the Lions. “It’s gonna win a lot of games and it was a great test for us.”
But no match for Joens’ efficiency from every spot of the floor.
“(I’ve been) getting in the gym before practices a little bit more,” Joens said. “Without classes, it’s easier to get in there and get some shots up, so obviously pretty confident. Once you see one go in, you kind of build your confidence from there.”