No. 5 Baylor puts a damper on No. 8 Iowa State’s senior night


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Ashley Joens waves to the crowd during the Senior Night ceremony on Feb. 28.

Andrew Harrington

No. 5 Baylor women’s basketball out-muscled No. 8 Iowa State Monday night at Hilton, cruising to an 87-62 victory to secure at least a share of the Big 12 regular season title.

On what may have been the final home game of both Ashley Joens’ and Maddie Frederick’s Iowa State careers, the game did not turn out the way they had hoped. Despite this, Joens mentioned how appreciative she was of the electric atmosphere of 13,907 fans.

“Something you dream about doing when you’re younger,” Joens said. “You dream of being in that position and playing in a competitive game like this.”

Joens mentioned both after Saturday’s game against Texas Tech and Monday’s game versus Baylor that she will not make a decision on her future until the season is over.

If this was all for Joens, she made sure to soak it all in. Not just on Monday night, but every night that she took the floor over her four-year career.

“Every time I step on the court at Hilton, you kind of soak it all up, especially with the turnout we had tonight,” Joens said.

Due to foul trouble, Iowa State had to rest Joens, Emily Ryan and Lexi Donarski at the end of the first half. During their absences, Baylor managed to build a 12-point halftime lead.

Once this lead was built, Baylor was not going to let it slip away, making sure to put the game away in the third.

NaLyssa Smith and Joens were the featured matchup entering the game. Smith got the best of this matchup, dropping 19 points on 8-10 shooting in the first half. Smith would finish with 28 points on 11-15 shooting and 20 rebounds.

Joens scored 19 points on 4-19 shooting and missed all eight of her three-point attempts.

Head coach Bill Fennelly had high praise for Smith after the game, saying that he believes she should be the first selection in the upcoming WNBA draft. When asked what makes Smith so difficult to go against, Fennelly chuckled.

“I probably don’t have enough time for that. The kid is six-four, skilled, plays with an edge to her,” Fennelly said. “She is a great, great player, very skilled, hard to guard.”

Out of five losses for Iowa State this year, two of them have come against Texas and two more against Baylor. Texas and Baylor share a similar playing style that requires length and defensive aggression, and this has caused problems for Iowa State this season.

“It falls back into getting our kids better suited to handle the physicality,” Fennelly said.

The Cyclones shot just 4-22 from three and were outrebounded 44-26. Fennelly said there are a lot of things that he would change if he could turn back the clock, but ultimately an inability to knock down shots early drained the life out of the team.

With a 24-5 overall record, including a 13-4 record in Big 12 play, Fennelly said that he will not let this loss define his team.

“I’m not going to apologize for being 24-5. I’m just not doing it,” Fennelly said. “We are who we are, and I’m not going to apologize for who we are. I’m not going to do it.”