Cyclone freshmen bounce back following rough offensive showing

Kylie Feuerbach attempts a layup against TCU on Feb. 13 in Hilton Coliseum. (Photo courtesy of Luke Lu/Iowa State Athletics)

Nick Flores

In the Cyclones’ last game against the Oklahoma Sooners, the starting freshman trio of Lexi Donarski, Emily Ryan and Kylie Feuerbach each had themselves a rough night. 

The trio combined for 10 points and the energy and scoring they provide wasn’t there against the Sooners. 

It was a different story against TCU as Iowa State came away with a 92-81 win as the Cyclones freshmen looked much better offensively than they did at Oklahoma. 

Following the 67-61 defeat to Oklahoma, Iowa State Head Coach Bill Fennelly acknowledged the tough night his freshmen had but knew heading into the home match-up against TCU that they would be back at their best. 

Fennelly made just one change to the starting line-up which was the addition of Aubrey Joens at guard for Kylie Feuerbach. This change comes following the 17 point career high performance that Joens had against Oklahoma.

In her first start, Joens found her rhythm early as she accounted for five of the Cyclones first eight points of the game.

Lexi Donarski had herself a game to remember, as she posted a new career high of 32 points on 10-14 shooting. 

In the Cyclones last game against Oklahoma, Donarski failed to put up any points and just as Fennelly suspected, herself along with her fellow freshmen teammates bounced back against TCU. 

“I thought Lexi Donarski was incredible from start to finish,” Fennelly said. “That’s as good a game anyones played for us in a long time.”

Donarski seemed unstoppable from the three point line against the Horned Frogs as she went 6-9 from beyond the arc which helped her and the team gain the momentum needed to pull away in the fourth quarter.

The starting freshmen trio of Ryan, Donarski and Aubrey Joens against TCU combined for a total of 45 points as they were a crucial part to the Iowa State offense. 

Fennelly mentioned the impact the freshmen had following a tough night offensively against Oklahoma. 

“All of our freshman apart from Aubrey [Joens] really struggled at Oklahoma and thats not anything that anyone doesn’t know it was just a tough night,” Fennelly said. “Tonight I thought all our freshmen were good, all four of them. I thought all four did really good things and that’s a credit to them.

“It wasn’t three weeks from the last one, it was literally the next game after maybe the worst game they had to come out and do what they did.”

The Cyclone freshmen have been an integral part to the team from the beginning of the season and each game they seem to improve on way or another. 

They will hope to carry on this momentum for the rest of the season as the post-season draws nearer each day.