Takeaways: Cyclones get a comeback win despite offensive struggles

Iowa State guard Lexi Donarski shoots the ball against the University of Oklahoma on Jan 19 in Hilton Coliseum. (Photo courtesy of LUKE LU/Iowa State Athletics)

Nick Flores

After a historic win against Baylor in their last game, the Cyclones improved their win streak to four after a close win against Oklahoma. The game finished 64-63 after a game wining layup from Ashley Joens after Oklahoma had the advantage nearly the entire game. 

Iowa State’s record improves to 10-4 (6-1 Big 12) as they prepare for a rematch against Texas to whom they lost to the last time they faced them.  

Ashley Joens leads the way

In this tight game against the Sooners, Iowa State started relatively slow in comparison to other games this season. There were only four occasions where the Cyclones held the lead as Oklahoma were very efficient from the three point line and always responded with a bucket when the Cyclones scored. 

Ashley Joens stepped up for the Cyclones yet again as she finished with a double double with a total of 32 points and 16 rebounds. 

Along with the double double, Joens hit the game winning layup with a few seconds left to steal the game from the Sooners. Joens says it was a matter of knowing the team needed a stop in order to win the game. 

“We knew we had to get the ball,” Joens said. “We really had to talk on everything and then just get the ball so we can come down on the other end and score. We set up a play and it worked out well.”

Joens led the way for the Cyclones as it could have been a very different game without her. She led the team in scoring and rebounds and she provided the offense that the Cyclones lacked throughout the game. 

The Cyclones will need to make some adjustments if they want to compete in their next game against Texas. 

Only two players in double digit scoring 

Tonights win was the first game since the win against North Dakota State that only two Cyclones got into double digit scoring. It was a tough offensive night for the Cyclones as Lexi Donarski and Ashley Joens were the only two in double figures.

Donarski finished with 11 points as Joens finished with 32 and a double double and that was just enough to beat the Sooners. 

The Cyclones have had at least four players in double figures in almost each game this season and this balanced scoring is what helps the team see out games and win. Tonight was a very different story as this was the most we’ve seen the Cyclones struggle on offense. 

From missing layups to open looks from three, the Cyclones certainly saw their most offensive struggles against the Sooners but they still came away with the win in the end.

Off night for the Cyclones despite the win

Although the Cyclones got the win it was a seemingly off night for Iowa State. It was a game where not many players could get anything going on the offensive end throughout the game but, in the fourth quarter the Cyclones did very well executing their plays in order to win.

Head coach Bill Fennelly was shocked as he was unsure as to why the Cyclones were struggling to score.

“It’s hard to put this one into words,” Fennelly said. “Oklahoma outplayed us, they out-coached us and we were lucky to win. We did not play at all like we need to play.” 

Fennelly mentions the offensive struggles in the win and credits the playmaking in the last few minutes as to why they came away with the win. 

“The only thing that saved us was that we defended enough,” Fennelly said. “I thought our execution at the end of the game was really really good but we just lacked energy and we got to get that fixed certainly before Texas comes to town.”

The Iowa State Cyclones will face the Texas Longhorns for their second meeting this season as they hope to improve their play and improve their current win streak to five games. That game will take place Saturday at the Hilton Coliseum with tip off scheduled for 5 p.m.