Iowa State surges past TCU in dominant home victory


Daniel Jacobi II

Head Coach Bill Fennelly high-fives fans while walking out onto the court before the game against TCU in Hilton Coliseum on Feb. 25, 2023.

Payne Blazevich, Sports Reporter

It was all Iowa State Saturday night, as the No. 20 Cyclones surged past TCU 84-56 in a second dominant performance over the Horned Frogs this season.

From the opening tip, the Cyclones were quick to move the ball toward the basket. After some back-and-forth shooting between the two, a string of runs and key shots put Iowa State out of reach by halftime. 

Consistent shooting and a fast-paced offense helped the Cyclones capture a much-needed win with only a pair of Big 12 games left in the regular season. 

“Any game when you can get a win helps create momentum,” guard Ashley Joens said. “Just getting everybody in the game and everyone played well, we were knocking down shots, getting rebounds, we were just playing really well together.” 

Iowa State opened up its scoring with a bucket from Joens, while the Horned Frogs answered with some early shots of their own. But after a three-pointer from guard Lexi Donarski to end the first quarter, the Cyclones were near-unstoppable. 

Joens led the team with 22 points, connecting on a pair of shots from behind the arc. Three other Cyclones reached double-figures in scoring, while the team shot 50.8% from the field. 

As soon as it had the ball, Iowa State was driving toward the basket. The Cyclones were able to stretch their legs against TCU after a string of physical matchups during Big 12 play.

“We were trying to play as fast as we could play,” head coach Bill Fennelly said.

On one end, Iowa State seemed to score at will, driving down the floor before TCU could set its defense. On the other, they were stifling, forcing the Horned Frogs to earn every shot they took. 

The Cyclones held TCU under 35 points heading into the fourth quarter while giving up two three-pointers from the Horned Frogs in the matchup. Iowa State forced 17 turnovers, nine of which came from steals. 

The more the Cyclones could hold and limit clean looks, the more they could run their fast-break offense – widening the deficit even further.

Morgan Kane and the Iowa State bench celebrate after the referees call that the ball was last touched by TCU in Hilton Coliseum on Feb. 25, 2023. (Daniel Jacobi II)

“The second quarter our defense really improved, which helped us get some fast break points on offense and just helped us get back into our offense before they could set up their defense,” Joens said. 

With the win, the Cyclones have won three of their last four games, two of which came against No. 17 Texas and Baylor. After a tough start to February for Iowa State, the team has been able to respond over the past two weeks. 

As the postseason steadily approaches, Iowa State is still trying to play its way into an opportunity to host its first two games of the NCAA Tournament. Even if the Cyclones can’t work their way into a top seed, they can improve their standing with each win, putting extra emphasis on the final few games of the season. 

Iowa State has been able to put together a strong finish to the month, and with two games left on the Big 12 schedule, the Cyclones are looking to take advantage of their remaining opportunities. 

“If we do our scouting report defense and we can make some shots, then we can compete with a lot of people, and I think you saw that [against TCU],” Fennelly said.