Joens leads No. 7 seed Iowa State over No. 10 seed Michigan State

Ashley Joens draws contact during Iowa State’s opening-round win over Michigan State on March 22 in the Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament.

Megan Teske

In No. 7 seed Iowa State’s game against No. 10 seed Michigan State during the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Cyclones brought down the Spartans 79-75 to advance to the second round.

Junior guard Ashley Joens helped propel the Cyclones over the Spartans with 33 points on 10-22 shooting, including 4-7 from beyond the arc and 9-12 from the free-throw line.

Joens’ 33 points set an Iowa State record for most points in a single NCAA Tournament game. Bridget Carleton previously held the record for most points in a single NCAA Tournament game with 31 points.

Head Coach Bill Fennelly said for Joens to do that means Iowa State has been blessed to have two really good players play in the NCAA Tournament.

“They’re both kids that carry teams, and I think that’s what you see in this event too is the great players play on the greatest stage and play that way,” Fennelly said.

Fennelly said Iowa State has had a trend of four to five years of having two dynamic, hard guard scorers and that both Carleton and Joens are team-first people.

Joens said part of the reason for her high-scoring game was her teammates, who did a good job of getting her the ball and putting her in a good position to score.

Fennelly said it was a good thing for the rest of the country to see Joens have such a good game on a national stage.

“To play against a really good Big Ten team, to play in the NCAA Tournament on ESPN in the Alamodome, all that stuff I think was a great individual showcase for her certainly,” Fennelly said. “But certainly one that impacted our team as well.”

Despite putting up a record number of points, Joens did get into foul trouble in the game against Michigan State, ending the night with three but having to sit on two occasions in order to make sure she would be available the whole game.

Joens said the key to staying on the court was to play her game and be smart about it.

“You go out there, play your game, but just be aware that you have two fouls and be smart,” Joens said.

Fennelly said it was tough for him to sit Joens when she was having such an impact during the game against the Spartans.

“I think probably one of the harder things we do, I do, is take her out of the game,” Fennelly said. “She has such an impact, obviously, on our team.”

With Joens sitting, it presented the opportunity for senior guard Madi Wise to get more playing time.

Wise used the opportunity to her advantage and recorded a double double with 13 points and a team-leading 11 rebounds.

Joens said her team did a great job stepping up when she was on the bench and Fennelly said having the seniors step up was big.

“I thought Madi Wise might’ve played her best game she’s ever played at Iowa State in the first half when [Ashley Joens] was in foul trouble,” Fennelly said.