Ashley Joens wins Cheryl Miller Award


NCAA Photos

Ashley Joens celebrates after making a shot against Texas A&M University during the second round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament on March 24.

Megan Teske

Iowa State women’s basketball junior guard Ashley Joens was announced the winner of the Cheryl Miller Award on Sunday afternoon.

The Cheryl Miller Award is given to the best small forward in Division 1 of the NCAA, and an Iowa State player has now won the award two of the past three years, with Bridget Carleton winning the award in 2019.

Joens winning the award also makes her part of the Naismith Starting Five for the season.

It is such an honor to be the recipient of this award,” Joens said in the press release. “Cheryl Miller had an amazing career that helped pave the way for women’s basketball, not only on the court, but off the court as well. To win this award and be considered the best small forward in the country this season is a great honor, especially with all the other great players that were considered for this award. This wouldn’t have been possible without my teammates and coaches. They have pushed me each and every day to continue to get better.”

During the 2020-21 season, Joens set an Iowa State women’s basketball record scoring 24.2 points per game, surpassing Carleton’s previous record of 21.7 points per game. Her 24.2 points per game also led the Big 12 in scoring and ranked fifth in the nation. 

Joens finished the season averaging 9.5 rebounds per game and shooting 88.3 percent from the free-throw line and 46.3 percent in field goals, a career best.

With 181 free throws made, Joens is also the NCAA leader in free throws made this season.

“What a great honor for Ashley to have her name associated with one of the greatest to play the game in Cheryl Miller,” Head Coach Bill Fennelly said in the press release. “This award recognizes the amazing season Ashley had and the impact she made on our team. For the second time, an Iowa State player has won this award, which is a great tribute to all involved in our program. Ashley’s effort and work to develop her game has made her one of the best players in the nation.”

Joens will return for her senior season in the 2021-22 season, setting the Cyclones up for more chances to compete in the Big 12.