Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones get much-needed win over Kansas


Ashley Joens shoots against Kansas on Jan. 26.

Andrew Harrington

After losing back-to-back Big 12 games, Iowa State women’s basketball defeated Kansas 77-62 on Wednesday to improve to 17-3 on the season.

It was a balanced scoring effort for the Cyclones, with Emily Ryan, Ashley Joens, Aubrey Joens and Lexi Donarski each finishing the game with at least 14 points. Leading the way was Ashley Joens, tallying 21 points and 11 rebounds on 7-14 shooting.

Turning the page

Losing 66-48 to Texas and 87-61 to Baylor killed the momentum that Iowa State built up over its 16-1 start. However, the Cyclones were able to get a much-needed win over Kansas to end a potential losing streak before it started.

Focusing on the “next 40 minutes” has been a theme all year for the Cyclones, and that is just what they did Wednesday night.

Head coach Bill Fennelly discussed how good it felt to get back to winning after the win on Wednesday night.

“The sky is falling, and we are 16-3, losing to two really good teams,” Fennelly said postgame. “Our message was more just, ‘hey, let’s focus on the next four [games].’”

Lights out from three

One of the main reasons that Iowa State lost its previous two games was due to an offense that could not get much going. The Cyclones shot a combined 13-50 from the three-point line in these two games.

On Wednesday night, Iowa State finished the game with 11 made threes on 29 attempts, shooting an impressive 8-16 from three in the first half.

Iowa State’s shooting performance was not limited to three-pointers, with the team making 16 free throws on 20 attempts, compared to just a pair of makes from Kansas.

Building a lead

Iowa State built up a 24-12 lead to end the first quarter off of hot shooting of both Ashley and Aubrey Joens. As a team the Cyclones shot 9-17 along with 6-10 from three-point range in the quarter.

Building a lead proved to be not only important on the scoreboard, but it provided some confidence for the Cyclones that they have not played with recently. This confidence was all that Iowa State needed to get back into the win column.

Ryan mentioned that the early lead was the spark that the team needed to get the win.

“It was really important for us to just bounce back from previous quarters we have been playing,” Ryan said. “We’re always focused on winning each quarter, so being able to win the first one is obviously really important because that sets the tone for the rest of the game.”

The next game for the Cyclones will come on the road against Texas Tech at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.