Joens’ usual stat line not enough to overcome No. 1 South Carolina


Iowa State junior Ashley Joens goes up for a floater against South Carolina on Dec. 6 at Hilton Coliseum. Joens ended the game with 32 points.

Megan Teske

In Iowa State’s game against South Carolina, Ashley Joens did as much as she could, but it went to the No. 1 Gamecocks 83-65.

The Cyclones were able to stay with the Gamecocks throughout the first half, but South Carolina pulled away during the second half of the game to win by 18.

Joens poured in 32 points, five rebounds and a steal for the Cyclones, but it wasn’t enough to overcome South Carolina as the next highest scorer for Iowa State was freshman guard Lexi Donarski, who had 13 points.

Senior forward Kristin Scott, who is normally a bigger contributor with double figure points, added six points off two 3-pointers, two rebounds and three blocks in the game Sunday.

Head Coach Bill Fennelly said Scott wasn’t able to get going both because of how South Carolina was defending her and because she wasn’t able to get her shooting down.

“This is a game where you gotta stick your nose in there against some big guys and Kristin just had a tough start early,” Fennelly said. “And I think the disappointing thing was she only got two rebounds but she’s a kid that’s going to impact our team, I thought there were times when she was open and we didn’t get her the ball around the block where I thought she had a good angle.”

Scott wasn’t the only one having trouble shooting today; Iowa State shot 37 percent from the field and 19 percent from the 3-point line compared to South Carolina, who shot 48 percent on field goals and 50 percent from 3-point range.

The Cyclones took 27 3-pointers Sunday and were 1-11 on threes in the first half, but even so, Fennelly still didn’t tell the team to stop shooting them.

“I don’t know that many of them were contested… I thought we should’ve shot more,” Fennelly said. “… When you’re not making them, then you get hesitant, you maybe think well I’ll drive it this time, you just gotta stick to what you’re doing… it’s a mental thing.”

Fennelly said the freshmen have to learn how to do the things that make the game better when things go bad besides just focusing on scoring. He said they need to defend and take care of the ball and put in effort on both ends, but that it is a learning curve for them.

One player Fennelly did speak highly of was Joens, who he said is playing at an unbelievable level.

“If there’s a better player in the country, someone better call me and tell me,” Fennelly said. “When you look at what she’s doing in a conference game, against the number one team in the country, and look at the athleticism and defensive intensity of that team, and she’s doing it, right now, let’s be honest, she’s kind of doing it on her own, she’s not getting a ton of help.”

Aside from Donarski’s 13 points and Joens’ 32 points, the rest of the starters for Iowa State posted a stat line consisting of 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Prior to the game Sunday, Joens said they would need a team effort in order to beat the Gamecocks.

Joens said everyone on the team is shooters and can make them outside, but that they weren’t shooting the best today.

Iowa State will next travel to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.