Takeaways: Cyclones blow out Wildcats for another Big 12 win

Iowa State freshman Kylie Feuerbach fights for position down low against Kansas State on Dec 18 in Hilton Coliseum. 

Nick Flores

The Cyclone women’s basketball team earned themselves a big win in conference play against Kansas State in 91-69 win on Friday.

This win improves the Cyclones’ record to 5-3, 2-0 Big 12, as the Cyclones now prepare for a non conference match-up against Drake University. 

Joens bounces back

After a quiet performance from junior Ashley Joens against Northern Iowa, having only recorded six points, Joens bounced back this game as expected.

Joens finished as the leading scorer for the Cyclones with 25 points and hauled in seven rebounds as well.

Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly is not surprised that Joens put up the numbers that she did in the Cyclones’ big win. 

“I’ve said this many times we wouldn’t trade her for anyone. I think she’s maybe the best all around player in the country,” Fennelly said. “The way she can score the ball, the way she draws every bit of attention, she’s so tough minded and wants to be good.”

Joens has been influential in each game this season and has really helped the program grow to where it is today.

This season she’s been very helpful to the freshman as more players such as Kylie Feuerbach, Lexi Donarski and Emily Ryan are becoming more settled with her help.

Friday’s performance from Joens further proves how important and influential she is to this Cyclone’s team and it won’t be a shock if she puts up similar numbers in their next game against Drake.

Impressive fourth quarter 

The Cyclones seemed to really find their rhythm in the second half against the Wildcats, scoring 54 points. Kansas State this season on average allows 54 points per game and the Cyclones scored that many in just one half.

The fourth quarter is when a lot of that scoring took place, as the Cyclones got off to a very hot start shooting the ball. The Cyclones scored 28 points to the Wildcats 16 and were on fire from three point land. 

Iowa State finished the game shooting 48 percent from three on 14-29 shooting, their best so far this season. After the halftime break it was clear that the Cyclones were ready to run away with the game as they kept knocking down shot after shot.

The fourth quarter saw some big buckets from Donarski, senior Kristin Scott and sophomore Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw. Donarski started out the quarter with an and-one bucket and Scott had herself a couple of three pointers to help the Cyclones run away with the game. 

The Cyclones in the fourth quarter were able to contain Kansas State’s Ayoka Lee limiting the Wildcats offense and allowing them to get out in transition and keep applying pressure.

There was a lot of contribution from everyone who touched the floor tonight for the Cyclones and that helped push them to victory. 

Five players in double figures

A huge reason for the Cyclones’ success against Kansas State was the fact that five players got into double figures for scoring.

Joens, Donarski, Scott, Espenmiller-McGraw and Feurbach were all contributors on offense against the Wildcats and that production helped them get off to their huge lead that they built. 

Joens started the game on a roll as she had 16 points at the half and finished with 25. Donarski had herself another productive game as she scored 11 following her 25 points against North Dakota State and 19 against UNI. 

Scott was very influential this game having knocked down a few three pointers and finishing the game with 17 points and nine rebounds. Feurbach also finished with 17 points which is a new career high for the freshman as she’s starting to find her feet in the team.

One of the more highlighted stories though is Espenmiller McGraw coming into the game and scoring 14 points off the bench. Espenmiller-McGraw spent the last few weeks sidelined due to a stress reaction injury that she suffered before the first game of the season.

The team was unsure if she would play at all this season but after being cleared to play coach Fennelly wanted to get her on the floor to see what she could do.

“Maggie can play, she loves the game,” Fennelly said. “The one thing about when you’re hurt as you ease back is you can still shoot. The one thing you can do is keep your stroke in line, she did everything we asked her to do and our medical staff did an amazing job to get her back. The kid is a natural scorer and she was so excited to be playing tonight so it was a huge boost for us.” 

The Cyclones will try to carry this momentum to their next game against the Drake Bulldogs in a non conference match-up on Tuesday. That game will tip-off at 6 p.m. and will be available to stream on ESPN+ Via Big 12 Now.