AMES — The Iowa State women’s basketball team opened conference play where it left off nonconference play on Wednesday night in Hilton Coliseum.
The Cyclones controlled the game from start to finish, downing Kansas State 96-58.
“With the exception of the first four or five minutes, I’m not sure we could’ve played much better,” ISU Coach Bill Fennelly said.
Iowa State was led by star Bridget Carleton, who poured in 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting — 4 of 10 from 3-point range. She also had nine rebounds — three offensive — and seven assists.
Carleton has been the most consistent piece for the Cyclones (11-2, 1-0), a nightly triple-double threat. She averages 18 points, pulls down eight rebounds and dishes out four assists on the season. She’s also improved her defense, averaging 2.4 steals and 1.8 blocks.
“I’ve said it many times, it always helps when you have the best player in the league on your team,” Fennelly said. “The other kids fed off of her.”
One of the biggest pieces to feed off of Carleton was freshman sensation and Iowa City High grad Ashley Joens, who had 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range. She also added four rebounds.
Joens was a little hit-and-miss during the nonconference, but came on strong over the last four games, shooting 64 percent from the field and averaging 14.8 points. Her performance on Wednesday points to her being able to continue her output through conference play.
The Cyclones also got good post production, a position that’s been inconsistent at times. Sophomore Kristin Scott had 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. She also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished three assists.
Backup post Ines Nezerwa had 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting with seven rebounds.
As a team, Iowa State made 16 3-pointers on 33 attempts. Iowa State actually shot better from 3-point range than it did from 2-point range.
The Cyclones shot 48.5 percent from beyond the arc, 43.5 percent from inside.
All but one Cyclone who played more than 12 minutes made a 3-pointer.
But enough about offense.
Iowa State’s defense was lights out on Wednesday. Kansas State (9-4, 0-1) was only able to shoot 40 percent from the field and just 20 percent from 3-point range. The Wildcats only made three shots from the beyond the arc.
The only Wildcat to shoot close to 50 percent was Kayla Goth, who was Kansas State’s best player. She had 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting with 10 assists.
Fennelly admitted he wasn’t sure if Iowa State was actually 38 points better than Kansas State, but this was a good start to the conference season.
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