AMES — Iowa State was on a two-game skid and felt in need of a win.
Before Saturday’s game, forward Kristin Scott said they wanted to let out some pent-up aggression.
Texas Tech was on the receiving end of Iowa State’s boiling point, as the Cyclones rolled to a 92-73 win at Hilton Coliseum.
“For sure we took out some frustration,” Ashley Joens said. “After two losses, you have to regroup and get back into the flow of the game and get back in the win column. We used those two losses as motivation.”
Three Cyclones scored at least 17 points and as a team, they shot 48 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range.
The Cyclones were led by true freshman point guard Emily Ryan, who had 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 3-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc. She also had five assists and three rebounds.
“It started with the rest of the team,” Ryan said. “They were making shots early, so it opened up the floor for me.”
Joens, Iowa State’s star player, had 20 points and 13 rebounds. In Iowa State’s last game against West Virginia, Joens failed to get to the free-throw line. Against the Red Raiders, she attempted seven free throws and made all seven.
True freshman Lexi Donarski was the other Cyclone to put up big numbers. Donarski had 17 points and five rebounds. It was Donarski’s first game in double figures since Jan. 19 against Oklahoma.
“They were getting to the point where they were freezing up because they were trying too hard,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said of his freshmen. “I told them every freshman goes through it and all of them today were better than they’ve been in the last couple of weeks.”
The Cyclones jumped out to a 24-13 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Iowa State outscored Texas Tech every quarter except the fourth, when the Cyclones emptied their bench.
“It’s the nature of what we want this team to become — a balanced attack,” Fennelly said. “Obviously Ashley is the best player on the team and one of the best in the nation but the ability to not miss a beat when she’s in foul trouble or tired, I thought our team handled that really, really well. And oh by the way, she still had 20 points and 13 rebounds.”
By the end of the game, Iowa State was so deep into its bench that true freshman Izzi Zingaro played for the first time. Zingaro is not a normal true freshman, though. She was a 2021 recruit who enrolled early at Iowa State because her natvie Ontario, Canada shut down high school sports.
At semester, she reached out to the coaching staff to see if she could enroll since she had already graduated. The staff welcomed her with open arms and on Saturday, since it’s a free year anyway, she got her first minutes.
In three minutes, she scored four points on 2-for-3 shooting. The 6-foot-4 forward’s first made basket was a nice drop-step post move which the lefty finished with her right hand and the second was a driving layup.
“It was fun to get her in and I think she can give us a couple minutes here and there,” Fennelly said. “Just having her here, now, will provide so many benefits down the road.
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“She’s just strong. Sometimes you just do stuff instinctively. Freshmen, when they don’t know the play, just shoot it. It was fun to see her do those things.”
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