Donarski, Joens named to Preseason All-Big 12 Team; Ryan honorable mention



Iowa State junior Ashley Joens shoots a free throw against West Virginia on Feb. 24 in Hilton Coliseum.

Aaron Hickman

The Big 12 announced the Preseason All-Big 12 awards for women’s basketball Wednesday afternoon, and a few Cyclones received honors in being named or mentioned for the Preseason All-Big 12 Team.

Senior forward Ashley Joens was one of seven unanimous selections and sophomore guard Lexi Donarski received the first preseason honor of her young career. Sophomore guard Emily Ryan was also included as a honorable mention.

It is no surprise that Joens was an unanimous selection, as she comes off of the highest scoring average in school history at 24.2 points-per-game and a historic season in which she was recognized with the Cheryl Miller Award. This marks Joens’ second time being selected unanimously and her third overall preseason honor (honorable mention in 2019).

Reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Year Lexi Donarski won’t be catching anyone by surprise this year, as the sophomore sharpshooter is coming off of an impressive freshman year in which she averaged 13 points-per-game and shot 41.1 percent from beyond the arc. After getting a year under her belt, Donarski should only improve.

The Big 12 seems to think so.

After being an unanimous selection to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team last season, Emily Ryan received an honorable mention to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. Along with Donarski, Ryan provided a steady presence and great composure for a freshman, averaging 8.1 points-per-game along with 5.9 assists.

Baylor forward NaLyssa Smith, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year, received her second straight preseason pick for the honor, while Baylor guard Jordan Lewis was picked for Preseason Newcomer of the Year and Texas forward Aaliyah Moore was picked for Preseason Freshman of the Year.