Takeaways: Joens carries Cyclones to OT against Texas


Big 12 Conference

Iowa State then-junior Ashley Joens goes up for a layup against Texas during the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship on March 12 at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Nick Flores

The Iowa State women’s basketball team fell to the Texas Longhorns in an overtime thriller that saw it knocked out of the Big 12 Championship Tournament on Friday. The Cyclones lost the game 84-82 in what was their closest encounter with the Longhorns this season having lost their previous two matchups by double digits. 

While the game came down to the wire in overtime, the Cyclones weren’t as lethal as they usually are from the 3-point line, which could have cost them a good amount of points.

Despite the efforts of junior guard Ashley Joens as well, the Cyclones were unable to get the job done in the first round against Texas and will look to Monday to hear their NCAA Tournament opponent during the NCAA Selection Show. 

3-point shooting/inside scoring

The Cyclones were not their usual selves during the first half from the 3-point line against Texas. 

Iowa State is usually known for being a threat from the perimeter whereas Texas likes to score from inside the paint, but this game those narratives were flipped. 

The Cyclones went just 1-7 from the 3-point line in the first half as they could not get anything going from beyond the arc. On the other hand, Texas went 6-18 on threes in the first half, which helped them pull away a bit throughout most of the second and third quarters.  

Despite not having the best game from beyond the arc, the Cyclones were still able to find ways to score on the inside, which Head Coach Bill Fennelly spoke about after the game.

“The offense wasn’t bad we just had some defensive mistakes and they hit some threes,” Fennelly said. “I mean they’re not a great 3-point shooting team but they made some and it seemed like every time they got an offensive rebound they made a three right after.”

As the Cyclones found it difficult to get going from the 3-point line this game, they ended the night with 42 points in the paint as well as 16 points from free throws so they still managed to find ways to score. 

While the 3-point part of the Cyclones’ game wasn’t entirely there against Texas, they fought until the final buzzer behind the efforts of junior guard Ashley Joens, who recorded a double double in the overtime loss. 

Ashley Joens delivers against Texas

In the Cyclones’ last two encounters with Texas, Joens had a difficult time on offense due to the physicality of the Longhorns. While she still put up double digits in scoring those games, she got into foul trouble and was given a hard time when driving to the basket. 

This time around was a different story as Joens recorded a double double with 28 points on 10-16 shooting and 14 rebounds. 

Joens was able to take over the game for the Cyclones early on as the Longhorns defense found it more difficult to guard her this time around. Joens was scoring from inside, getting to the free-throw line and hit a shot from beyond the arc as well, which got her into a rhythm early.

Joens was the driving force behind the Cyclones’ scoring and Fennelly mentioned how she was crucial to the team staying in the game and forcing overtime despite some defensive errors costing them the game.

“[Joens] was great and carried us through a lot of it,” Fennelly said. “She hit some big shots but it wasn’t the effort by any means, a few turnovers and missed assignments cost us.”

While the Cyclones fell by a basket in overtime, Fennelly believes the team put it all on the court and Joens was a big part of that.

“I thought Ashley Jones did everything she could like she always does to impact the game in a positive way,” Fennelly said. “We hung around and just couldn’t make enough plays when we needed them but that’s a credit to Texas, they’re a very good team.”