Three Big Takeaways: It’s raining threes, Iowa State blows out TCU


Tyler Coe

Morgan Kane finishes under the basket against Oklahoma State on Jan. 18, 2023.

Christian Royston, Sports Reporter

It was all Iowa State Wednesday night, as the No. 18 Cyclones made quick work, taking down TCU 75-35. 

Although there were glimpses of competitiveness from the Horned Frogs early on, the Cyclones ran away with the game in the blink of an eye. By the final quarter, the Cyclones mounted a 40-point lead that carried through to the final buzzer.

With Big 12 wins hard to come by, the Cyclones ended their short road trip with a dominant win to carry into a big home matchup on Saturday.

Joens leads the pack

Ashley Joens was hot from the start, knocking down the opening points with a three. She jumped out to seven early points and four rebounds before TCU’s first timeout.

That timeout didn’t cool Joens down one bit. Joens knocked down another three just minutes out of TCU’s timeout to get to 10 points on the night. 

Joens was much quieter in the second quarter scoring her first basket with two minutes left in the half. With a defender in her face, Joens pulled up a shot from beyond the arc, sinking her third three-pointer of the half.

As the halftime buzzer rang, Joens went to the locker room, nearing a double-double with 13 points and eight rebounds. She snagged that double-double just a minute and a half into the third quarter.

With her teammates dominating on offense, Joens still made her presence known in the second half. By the fourth quarter, Joens had 19 points and 14 rebounds, enough to give her some much-needed rest on the bench.

When the team needed her to hit shots, she stepped up and knocked down threes. Joens finished the game with four three-pointers made, leading the team.

Joens’ efforts helped give the team the momentum they needed to dominate TCU all over the court. 

Choo Choo: The Kane Train leads a dominant defense

TCU couldn’t hit shots early, and that trend continued through the entire 40 minutes. The Horned Frogs kept up the offensive pressure, driving to the rim constantly, but nothing was falling. 

The Cyclones dominated early, not letting up a single point from TCU through the first five minutes. By then, the Cyclones were already in double digits.

The defense was making up for the cold scoring streaks from the Cyclones, keeping TCU to only 10 points in the first quarter. 

Iowa State kept TCU to only four points in the second quarter with time running low. As the Cyclones started to run away with the game, mounting a 16-point lead, TCU was struggling to reach the 20-point mark before the half. By the half, the Cyclones led 33-17.

TCU was shooting just 11% from three, making just one three-pointer in the first half. They were also shooting less than 25% from the field.

It was clear that TCU was having all sorts of issues with Iowa State’s lock-down defense, but one player stood out above the rest: Morgan Kane, who was getting her second straight start of the season.

Kane wasn’t just dominant on defense. She was putting work on the offensive end of the floor as well. 

Kane was nearing the double-digit point mark in the third quarter. As she attacked the rim, she put a shot with a defender hanging on her. Kane completed the three-point play to get up to nine points.

A few possessions later, Kane puts up another contested shot high off the backboard before picking up a foul. As the shot fell through the net, Kane flexed toward her teammates, letting out a roar. Any chance TCU had of getting back into the game was gone.

Kane finished the game with 13 points and five rebounds, with every score bringing energy for the Cyclones.

With a quarter left to play, the Cyclones had a 40-point lead. TCU scored just five points in the third quarter and only 22 points overall.

Get an umbrella, it’s raining threes in Fort Worth

Iowa State’s first possession of the game was a warning for TCU that the Horned Frogs were in for a long night.

The hoop looked to be the size of a kiddie pool for the Cyclones as shots were falling left and right. Joens was the first Cyclone to knock down a three and certainly wasn’t the last.

A late three from Lexi Donarski gave Iowa State a double-digit lead going into the second quarter. The Cyclones shot 37% from three in the first quarter. 

Thanks to another three from Donarski just before the second-quarter media timeout, that percentage went up to 40%. It kept going up from there.

It seemed whenever TCU looked to get back into the game, the Cyclones buried a deep shot to put TCU’s hopes to rest.

Emily Ryan knocked down a corner three right after inbounding a ball, followed shortly after by another three from Donarski to give the Cyclones a 25-point lead halfway through the third quarter.

Denae Fritz got a piece of the action late in the third quarter. She had a three earlier in the quarter but wanted more.

With a minute left to play in the third quarter, Fritz knocked down a three with a defender in her face that got the Iowa State bench on its feet.

With time left to play, Fritz knew she was hot and kept shooting. With 30 seconds left, Fritz caught a pass and instantly put up a shot from the corner. 

Swish. Nothing but net.

Fritz was up to 13 points with a quarter left to play, joining three other Cyclones at the double-digit mark.

With a quarter left to play, the Cyclones had made 12 three-pointers–more shots made than TCU had attempted. The Cyclones finished the game shooting 13-31 from the three-point line.

Iowa State’s lethality from deep was a hill too big for TCU to climb. As the final buzzer rang, the Cyclones hung onto a 40-point lead, heading home with another Big 12 win under their belt.