AMES — Iowa State’s Lexi Donarski had a career game on Saturday.
The freshman from Wisconsin had 32 points. She was 10-of-14 from the floor, 6-for-9 from beyond the arc and 6-of-6 at the free throw line.
Donarski’s strong offensive performance powered Iowa State past TCU, 92-81 on Saturday in Hilton Coliseum.
Donarski’s strong performance came after a scoreless game Tuesday against Oklahoma.
“I thought Lexi was great,” Iowa State Coach Bill Fennelly said. “It’s a credit to the toughness she has. You’re talking about a kid who might’ve played the worst game she’s ever played in her life on Tuesday and then she comes out tonight and looks like this where no one would’ve thought she was a freshman.
“She was aggressive, she was in attack mode, her shot selection was great. She did a lot of things to put pressure on the defense and, as always, she defended.”
The Cyclones (13-8, 9-5 Big 12) needed Donarski to step up against TCU (8-10, 3-10), especially in the first half. Iowa State star Ashley Joens was held scoreless in the first half.
“I just had to get into the flow of the game,” Joens said. “They were in a bit of a different defense. I had to adjust to that but once I got into the flow, I was good to go.”
Good to go was an understatement.
In the second half, Joens stepped it up and scored 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 4-for-5 from 3-point range.
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“You don’t have to say a lot to Ashley,” Fennelly said. “She was out of sorts and missed some early shots and got a couple of early fouls. But she’s a great player that wants to win.
“When she’s making 3s like that, she’s a really hard player to guard. In the second half, she was Ashley Joens — I guess that’s the best way to put it.”
Iowa State and TCU were neck and neck through the first three quarters, but Joens’ strong second half helped separate the Cyclones.
That and a four-minute stretch in the fourth quarter where Iowa State took it from a four-point game to a 10-point game and never looked back.
“Every coach dreams of getting consecutive stops that lead to consecutive scores and that’s what we did,” Fennelly said. “We weren’t great but we did some really good things in a four-minute stretch that turned a two-to-four point game to a 12-to-14 point game.”
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