Takeaways: Iowa State gets big win over Baylor in Waco

Ashley Joens goes up for a layup against Oklahoma State’s Taylen Collins on Jan. 13 in a 90-80 win for the Cyclones. 

Megan Teske

The Iowa State women’s basketball team has started another win streak after its upset win at No. 6 Baylor on Saturday night.

The Cyclones are on a three-game win streak and are 5-1 in Big 12, sitting in first in conference standings, after they took down the Lady Bears 75-71.

Ashley Joens shines again

Iowa State had three players get in double figures Saturday night, and another got close with eight points, but it was junior guard Ashley Joens who propelled the Cyclones to a win Saturday night.

Joens recorded another double-double, her sixth of the season, and led the team with 27 points and 12 rebounds.

Joens scored 14 of the 19 points for the Cyclones in the final quarter to push Iowa State past Baylor, freshman guard Lexi Donarski scored the other five points in the quarter, finishing with 17 points.

Iowa State Head Coach Bill Fennelly said Joens is impacting how the Cyclones are winning, and it showed in the Baylor game.

“It’s one of those where, thank God we have Ashley Joens,” Fennelly said. “And basically it was ‘run a play for Ash, use her as the decoy but basically, you better be wide, wide open if Ash doesn’t touch the ball every possession.’”

Fennelly said that was what the Cyclones had to do down the stretch because they were having a hard time running offense, but Joens has an instinct to get the ball in the basket.

Joens said it felt good to get a win like that with everyone executing well.

“It’s just really good to see everyone come together and play like we did,” Joens said.

Joens finished the game shooting 10-15 from field goal range and 7-10 from the free-throw line.

Staying aggressive in the paint

During a game where Iowa State wasn’t draining threes like usual — the Cyclones finished shooting 29.6 percent (8-27) from beyond the arc — Iowa State was able to be aggressive and get points down low.

The Cyclones finished with 36 points in the paint and got to the charity stripe plenty, finishing 13-17 from the free-throw line.

Fennelly said he told the team during shoot-around they had to attack the basket because Baylor wasn’t going to allow Iowa State to get so many three-pointers.

“We got to be willing to attack the basket, take the hit, finish plays, get to the line,” Fennelly said. “… That was the idea was we gotta get to the free-throw line… we really felt like that was what we were gonna have to do and I thought for the most part our kids did a good job.”

He added that getting to the line was a huge part of the game plan and it was executed really well by the team.

Iowa State also out-rebounded Baylor 45 rebounds to 41, including 11 offensive rebounds for the Cyclones good for seven second-chance points.

Joens said Baylor is big and strong, so it was a tough battle down low, but they just had to box out and compete.

“We don’t talk about out-rebounding them, it was more about ‘hey just stick your nose in there, survive it,’” Fennelly said. “… The ball is underneath the rim you gotta go get it and you gotta stick your nose in there and I thought our kids did for the most part.”

Another streak snapped

Iowa State’s win over Baylor in Waco, Texas, means the Cyclones snapped another of Baylor’s win streaks.

Before the Saturday night loss, Baylor had a 61-game home court winning streak. The Cyclones’ win ended that.

This was the second time Iowa State has ended a winning streak for the Lady Bears.

Last season, with Iowa State’s win over Baylor in the final game of the season at Hilton, the Cyclones ended the Lady Bears’ 58-game conference win streak.

Iowa State now has a two-game win streak over Baylor, the last time they did that was in 1997-98, with 1997 also being the last time Iowa State won in Waco.

Fennelly said historically, the Saturday game could be one of the greatest wins Iowa State has ever had in women’s basketball.

“I don’t want to say it’s the best cause who knows there’s so many,” Fennelly said. “But when you look at the landscape of our sport, what Coach Mulkey’s done, what her team has done, this environment here [in Waco], I think it is one of the greatest wins we’ve ever had.”

Fennelly said he hopes Iowa State’s win gives other people hope when they have to play those kinds of games.

Iowa State will look to extend its win streak when the Cyclones play Oklahoma at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hilton Coliseum. The game will be available to watch on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.