Ashley Joens becomes Iowa State’s all-time leading scorer in loss to No. 14 Texas


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Ashley Joens shoots the ball in the Cyclones’ 76-58 win over Oklahoma State on Feb. 5.

Aaron Hickman

With a free throw following an and-one layup with 4:59 remaining in No. 6 Iowa State’s 73-48 loss to No. 14 Texas, Ashley Joens became the all-time leading scorer in Iowa State women’s basketball history, passing Angie Welle’s mark of 2,149 points.

Ashley finished the game with 18 points and five rebounds.

If you ask Brian Joens, Ashley’s father, this wasn’t something that was expected to be in the cards when his daughter first set foot on campus.

“It was never anything to be considered,” Brian said. “We just wanted to go to a successful school and play in a winning program. This is more or less a byproduct of playing with really good players and coaches that put her in positions to be successful.”

It seems fitting that this milestone would come during a time where this Iowa State team is seeing success reminiscent of the 2002 squad that Welle was a part of.

With 20 years between Welle claiming the top spot and Ashley breaking it, the current Cyclone star had to do a bit of research on the player whose trail she was hot on.

What she discovered came as a bit of a shock.

“I found out she graduated in 2002 and I was like, ‘oh, I was only two years old,’” Ashley said with a laugh.

For Ashley, though, it’s always been about winning games. Individual accolades can be a part of the puzzle, but winning lasts forever.

With weeks and weeks of questions and anticipation regarding the scoring record, Ashley has had her fair share of conversation on the topic.

But what really matters to her is the final score.

“You wanna go out and win games, and that’s the whole goal,” Ashley said. “You don’t really think about it when you’re out there. I mean, it might be in the back of your mind, but once you start playing it’s all about the game, the scouting report and what’s going on in the moment.”

Brian believes Ashley wouldn’t even know how many points she has if she weren’t constantly reminded.

Harkening back to Ashley’s historic performance against Wright State in 2019, he summed up the kind of player his daughter is.

“I’ll never forget the game where she had 41 points, and she said she was on the free throw line and she made a free throw to give her 40,” Brian said. “The crowd erupted and cheered like crazy, and she was like ‘what in the devil are they cheering for?’ She’s just out there trying to win basketball games.”

Brian also acknowledged how Ashley has taken a bit of a step back in the scoring department this season, which he believes is a big part of the team’s success.

Allowing other players to score more has been something that has come with adjustments to different defensive schemes, and it shows the ‘winning above all else’ mentality that the senior has.

Whether it’s scoring, rebounding, defense, diving for loose balls or any kind of play that impacts success, Ashley has been more than willing to play her part.

Iowa State Head Coach Bill Fennelly believes that while this milestone may not be crucial to the team’s overall goals this season, it’s something that is deserving of the spotlight.

After talking about how Ashley would be ready to have this over with so she can move on, Fennelly spent some time praising the player who will go down as one of the greatest to ever play in the program he’s led for nearly 30 years.

“I think when you break a school record in scoring at this level, with the players that have been here, that’s a heck of an accomplishment, and it’s one that should be celebrated and will be celebrated,” Fennelly said.

For what happens after, well, it’s time to win more games.

Ashley’s spot in Iowa State history is still developing as this season unfolds, and there are more victories that need to take place before any member of the program will be satisfied.

Emily Ryan said there was still a lot left to do to get on the level of the 2002 team, and that’s been the general feeling and message each player has broadcasted throughout this season.

But a blueprint has been put in place. The hope is that the success that Ashley has brought can be passed down, and maybe even bested in the future.

“Hopefully someday somebody breaks her record, works that hard, puts in that much time, is that driven and gets in a successful program like Iowa State,” Brian said.

Until then, it’s the next 40 minutes.