AMES — Ashely Joens continues to dominate games for the Iowa State women’s basketball team.
It’s almost to the point where it’s easy to be numb to Joens putting up at least 20 points and 10 rebounds nearly every game she plays in.
Iowa State beat Kansas State 73-59 Wednesday at Hilton Coliseum with Joens contributing 21 points, 11 rebounds and two steals.
“Every time I go out there, I just think to myself, ‘It’s just another game,’” Joens said. “I’ve played so many that I just go out and play as hard as I can.”
Bill Fennelly loves to coach players like Joens for a couple of reasons. No. 1, he knows what he’s going to get from her every night and No. 2, it’s not just the consistency of getting 20 points and 10 rebounds every game, it’s her consistency with her approach to the game.
“She’s old school, ‘I’m just going to keep playing, I’m going to listen to my coaches, I’m going to take hard coaching,’” Fennelly said. “We have a sign in our practice facility that says, ‘Average players are hard to coach, great players want to be coached hard.’ She doesn’t pout, she doesn’t feel sorry for herself. She’s a great example of the first kid in the gym and last kid out of the gym.
“We’re the beneficiary because that’s the way she was raised. She was raised to be tough, work hard, not have excuses and find a way to get it done rather than look for a reason why she’s not getting it done. That’s just not in her DNA.”
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Joens, who averages 23 points and 11 rebounds per game, actually had a slow start to Wednesday’s game, scoring just two first-quarter points.
But like all great players, she adapted to how the defense was guarding her and figured out a way to get herself going.
“It’s impressive,” Fennelly said of the way Joens approaches the game. “And you think about the way she has to do it — you’re asking her to do a lot of different things. I thought early in the game she got herself stuck in some bad spots. But she figured it out as the game went along.”
In the fourth quarter, when Iowa State was up just four, Fennelly ran an inbound play for Joens and she drained an open 3-pointer that put the Cyclones (11-6, 3-3) up seven. They never looked back from that point.
Joens is one of the three consistent pieces in Iowa State’s lineup. The others are Adriana Camber and Kristin Scott. The last two spots rotate frequently.
Against K-State (7-9, 1-4), Rae Johnson stepped up in a big way for the Cyclones. After playing just three minutes and having three turnovers against Oklahoma State, Johnson had 19 points, eight assists and two rebounds in 30 minutes.
“The consistency of our team is Ashley, Kristin and Adriana — then we game-plan around that,” Fennelly said. “I’m sure you’ll see a different lineup on Saturday. It’s hard on the kids but they’ve handled it well.”
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