Ashley Joens on the verge of scoring record in rematch with Texas


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Ashley Joens shoots against Kansas on Jan. 26.

Aaron Hickman

Just 12 points away from becoming the all-time leading scorer in program history, Ashley Joens has a high chance of passing Angie Welle’s mark of 2,149 points Wednesday against No. 14 Texas.

It has a chance to come during other historic points in the Cyclones’ season. Iowa State is ranked as high as No. 6 for the first time in 20 years. The program has the best start in history through 24 games. Emily Ryan just broke the single-game assist record with 17 against TCU on Saturday.

It’s a bit of a “rotten twist,” as Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly called it, that the accomplishment could come against a team that Ashley missed her only game of the season against due to COVID-19 protocols.

In fact, Joens watched that 66–48 loss all alone in a hotel room.

“I might’ve been yelling at the TV a little bit,” Joens said. “Just because I knew the scouting report, it’s different when you can see what’s going on. When you’re playing you don’t really see everything, but when you’re watching you see a lot more and you’re like ‘oh, someone’s open’, or different things like that.”

Nearly a month later, she won’t have to yell at the TV to have a say in the matter.

Inching closer and closer to the record each game throughout the season, the proverbial “monkey on the back” is agonizingly close to being left behind.

With a chance to avoid losing five straight games to the Longhorns and etch her name in the history books all in one game, the pressure is on in multiple facets.

“I think she’s handled it pretty well,” Fennelly said. “I think she had about a week or so where, I’m not gonna say it was getting to her, but you know how it is. There’s always things in our lives – ‘let’s just get it over with, please’ – and then we can all take a breath and move on, whatever it is. I think she’s at that stage.”

Joens’ teammates will be ready to share the moment with her, as it’s something they’re a part of, as well.

The appreciation and acknowledgment of Joens’ place in program history is something that every member of the team is more than willing to show.

With plenty of Ryan’s assists going Joens’ way over the past two seasons, she summed up how she and the team value their teammate’s play.

“She makes all of our jobs so much easier,” Ryan said of Joens. “She’s so talented and she’s so special, so being able to play with her is super fun and we’re really lucky to be able to do it.”

Averaging just under 20 points per game, and following Saturday’s 32-point, 14 rebound performance against the Horned Frogs, it appears that the time is finally here to get rid of the anticipation.

“Hopefully it happens Wednesday, because if she doesn’t get 12 that’s probably not a good sign,” Fennelly said with a smile. “I think she’s in a good place now, and she played great on Saturday. I’m sure she’ll be very, very happy when it’s over.”