AMES — Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly knew a strong third quarter was coming from Texas.
The Longhorns only scored 13 points in the third quarter in their home loss to TCU on Friday. Fennelly watched the postgame press conference and heard Texas coach Karen Aston call her team out for their poor third-quarter performance.
He knew she’d have them ready against the Cyclones after halftime and tried to prepare his team for it, but it wasn’t enough.
Monday at Hilton Coliseum, Fennelly was proven right. Texas outscored Iowa State 27-17 in the third quarter.
That strong performance after halftime led to an 81-75 Longhorns win against the Cyclones.
Iowa State jumped out to a 13-3 lead in the opening five minutes and finished the first quarter leading 19-16 while shooting 61.5 percent from the field.
The Cyclones (9-4, 1-1) couldn’t maintain the hot shooting and Texas (9-5, 1-1) began asserting its dominance in the paint with Joyner Holmes, who had 17 points and eight rebounds.
The Longhorns outscored the Cyclones 48-29 in the second and third quarters.
Iowa State tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, but the 17-point deficit the Cyclones found themselves in was too much to overcome.
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The Longhorns were successful, in large part, because they limited Ashely Joens’ impact and played her physically. Joens still recorded her usual double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, but Texas had success denying Joens the ball and double-teaming her when she did get it.
Through three quarters, Joens only had seven shot attempts. She finished with 11 field goal attempts, compared to her average of 15. When Joens did get the ball, he Longhorns forced her to turn it over six times.
Fennelly said the only other place he had seen that kind of physicality was on the football field. Jada Underwood, the player guarding Joens for most of the night, fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Kristin Scott tried to keep the Cyclones in it offensively without Joens’ normal contributions early in the game. Fennelly loved the effort from Scott and said it was exactly what the team needed with Texas denying Joens the ball.
Scott finished with a game-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting. She also pulled down an impressive 14 rebounds and blocked two shots.
While Scott did what was needed for the Cyclones, Fennelly said the other players needed to match Scott’s effort.
As a team, Iowa State turned the ball over 17 times — starting point guard Rae Johnson had two points, five assists and three turnovers. Fennelly said the team needed strong guard play against Texas’ physicality and didn’t get that.
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