Cyclones defeat Northern Iowa Panthers for first time since 2016



Bill Fennelly talks with Lexi Donarski, Ashley Joens and Kristen Scott during a timeout against North Dakota State on Dec 12. Iowa State won 85-64.

Nick Flores

The Iowa State women’s basketball team earned its second straight win as it defeated in-state rival Northern Iowa Panthers 67-61 in a back and forth game.

The Panthers have gotten the best of the Cyclones in their last two meetings but Tuesday was a different story as the Cyclones now improve their record to 4-3 (1-0 Big 12). 

The game started fairly slow for the Cyclones as Northern Iowa got some momentum early on. The Panthers were able to go on a 12-2 run in the first quarter as it took some time for the Cyclones offense to click. 

Eventually the offense was able to get going behind the scoring of freshman Lexi Donarski and senior Kristin Scott. Donarski, coming off of a 25 point career high game, finished with 19 Tuesday and has proven to be a viable scoring option for Iowa State. 

Scott needed some time to get going tonight but in the second half she was all over the floor. She ended with 11 rebounds, two blocks and a season high 18 points.

Contribution from the rest of the team was crucial as the Panthers defense was able to slow down Ashley Joens’ scoring. Joens finished with nine points on 3-6 shooting which is her lowest total so far this season. 

The game was certainly a game of runs as the Panthers continuously cut into the Cyclones lead making it a close game up until the final buzzer. As the game winded down Senior Panther guard Karli Rucker was able to spark some momentum for Northern Iowa as her scoring helped keep the game within single digits. 

The fourth quarter saw a back and forth affair between the teams as the Cyclones would try to extend their lead but the Panthers were not backing down. Despite the Cyclones being unable to extend their lead, they did just enough to defeat the Panthers.

This close win improves the Cyclones record to 4-3 (1-0 Big 12) as they head into a conference game against Kansas State on Friday.

That game will tip-off at 6 p.m. and will be available to stream on ESPN+ via Big 12 Now.