Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State ‘hesitant’ on offense in loss to Hawkeyes


Daniel Jacobi II

Lexi Donarski jumps up to shoot a three in the game against Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Dec. 7, 2022.

Anthony Hanson, Sports Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa — No. 10 Iowa State lost its second matchup against a top-25 team Wednesday night on the road against No. 16 Iowa.

All-American forward Caitlin Clark from Iowa led the scoring with 19 points. Clark overcame poor shooting in the first quarter, as 13 of her points came in the second half.

Iowa State failed to record its second consecutive win in the Cy-Hawk rivalry after ending a five-game losing streak to the Hawkeyes last season.

‘Hesitant’ on offense

The in-state rivals scored a combined 147 points in their last meeting, but Wednesday night’s less-than-stellar offense was on display at Carver Hawkeye arena.

The teams were within five points after the first half ended 28-23 in favor of Iowa State. Both offenses started slow, but the Hawkeyes used a stellar third quarter to

Lexi Donarski runs through the team tunnel as her name gets announced before the game against Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Dec. 7, 2022. (Daniel Jacobi II)

gain separation and ultimately defeat the visiting Cyclones.

Iowa State finished the game without finding any offensive momentum. The Cyclone shooters, who have scored over 80 points in all but one game so far this season, finished the game with 57 points and a 36.4 field goal percentage.

“They outplayed us,” Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said. “They deserve it.”

Iowa State, who suffered its first loss of the season to No. 8 North Carolina on Nov. 27, has lost both its games against ranked competition.

“We were a little hesitant,” Fennelly said. “When we passed up shots, we played into their defense.”

In the Cy-Hawk rivalry, Iowa has won six of the last seven matchups.   

Joens and Clark, the trilogy

Two women’s college basketball greats ended a storied rivalry Wednesday night in Carver Hawkeye arena.

Fellow all-Americans Caitlin Clark and Ashley Joens took the court to face head-to-head for the third and final time. The former AAU teammates headlined each of the two previous matchups. They each scored over 30 points in the rivalry two seasons ago and last season the pair finished with 26 points each.

The third installment started to play out in favor of Joens and the Cyclones. Clark started the game by missing her first nine shots. Iowa’s leading scorer, who averages 28.2 points per game, had six points at halftime.

In the third quarter, Clark found her offensive spark and ignited the Hawkeye offense. She was 7 for 12 from the field after her slow first quarter.

Clark displayed her signature scoring from the outside, connecting four times from beyond the three-point line. However, Clark added eight rebounds and found her teammates for eight assists in the game.

Joens finished her final Cy-Hawk game with 15 points and seven rebounds.

Trouble inside

The Iowa State scoring came heavily from the outside despite a clear size advantage over the Iowa lineup.

For both Joens and the six-foot-six Stephanie Soares, the first basket was a three-point field goal. Monika Czinano highlighted a Hawkeye defense that brought double teams and traps to the post.

Despite being a point of emphasis for the Cyclones, Fennelly said, Iowa State was too late to beat the double-team and find the open player.

Soares for Iowa State committed five turnovers from her spot in the post. She finished with 10 points for Iowa State. Two of her four field goals came from the outside. Joens found similar struggles underneath the basket. The Cheryl Miller Award winner made five field goals, and three were three-pointers.

Overall, Iowa State connected on 20 field goals. Nine came from beyond the arc.