No. 15 Texas earns road win over shorthanded Cyclones


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Emily Ryan drives against Texas on Jan. 19.

Andrew Harrington

Playing without Denae Fritz, Ashley Joens and Aubrey Joens due to Big 12 Health and Safety Protocols, Iowa State women’s basketball suffered its second loss of the season at the hands of No. 15 Texas 66-48 Tuesday night.

Playing without three of its top players proved to be a challenge for Iowa State, but the players also made some mistakes that they don’t make on a regular basis. The Cyclones finished the game shooting just 27.9 percent to go along with committing 15 turnovers.

Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said that despite the missing players, the team did not meet the expectations of itself.

“Certainly disappointing in a lot of ways, but you gotta give Texas most of that credit,” Fennelly said. “We could sit here and make excuses for anything and everything, but that’s not the Iowa State way of doing things.”

Through one quarter of play, the Cyclones shot just 2-16 with the only two baskets coming from Lexi Donarski. The offense did not see a lot of improvement as the game went on, with no player totaling as much as five made field goals.

One thing was clear for Fennelly and his squad: if they were going to win the game, they would need a variety of players to get involved on the offensive end.

“We were prepared for this game, and we just didn’t execute in the way that we know we could, and that’s the frustrating part,” Emily Ryan said.

Free throws were one of the keys to the Cyclones keeping the game competitive in the first half, shooting 11-12 from the line; however, in the second half even the free throws were not falling, with Iowa State converting just 8-15 from the charity stripe.

The team could not find its footing in the second half and Texas was able to take it from there. A five-minute scoring drought in the third quarter allowed the Longhorns to run away with a victory.

Fennelly said that the biggest thing that the team can do is just move forward to the next game against Baylor. The team still boasts a 16-2 record, and he believes that Tuesday’s game will not define their season.

Ryan echoed Fennelly’s statements saying that the team needs to turn the page ahead of next game.

Fennelly closed by praising the Iowa State medical staff, mentioning that he is sure that they will make the right call on whether the Joens sisters will be cleared to play in Sunday’s contest against Baylor.

“I want everyone to make sure you hear this, we have the best medical staff in the country,” Fennelly said. “The commitment they have made to the student-athletes at Iowa State over the last two years, there is no way to quantify it. No way.”

Fennelly expects Ashley and Aubrey Joens to return on Sunday but said that the medical staff will be the ones making the decision in the end.