Joens historic performance carries Iowa State to victory over Wright State


Taylor Shaw/Iowa State Daily

Ashley Joens takes a shot on the basket at the game against Texas on Jan. 12. The Cyclones lost to the Longhorns 62-64.

Sam Stuve

As a whole, Iowa State struggled offensively against the Wright State Raiders on Sunday.

However, junior forward Ashley Joens’ offensive performance carried Iowa State to a home victory on Sunday against the Wright State Raiders.

Joens accounted for half of Iowa State’s points as she scored 41 points of Iowa State’s 79 points in its 79-71 victory over the Raiders.

The Cyclones, excluding Joens, scored 38 points combined and shot 11 for 30 from the field.

Joens played all 40 minutes, scoring 41 points—a new career-high on 12 for 23 shooting from the field.

She went two for four from beyond the three-point line and 15 for 16 from the free-throw line in an eight-point victory for the Cyclones.

“Ashley has continued to do some truly special things and hopefully we can find her some help…she’s physical, hard to guard and she plays through contact,” coach Bill Fennelly said. “When you draw 15 fouls in a game that is staggering…she’s the running back that gets hit and keeps on running, she gets hit a lot, but she’s a physical kid.”

Her previous career-high was 30 points in a 20 point victory over the Texas Southern Tigers on Nov. 19.

For the fifth time this season, Joens has made at least eight free throws in a game. Joens is currently shooting 89.5 percent from the free-throw line, which is a team-best.

“Getting to the free-throw line is huge for me [because] I know I can make my free throws, shooting free throws in a game isn’t any different for me than shooting them in practice,” Joens said. 

Joens’ 15 made free throws is one shy of Angie Welle’s record of 16 made free throws in a game, which was set against Nebraska in 2002.

In her 41 point performance, Joens made history as she tied the record for most free throws made in a game with Chelsea Poppens who set the record in 2012 against Missouri and she was one point shy of tying Toyna Burns single-game scoring record (for Iowa State) of 42 points in a game, which she did against Nebraska in 1984.

In the first half, Joens nearly outscored Wright State as she scored 21 points, while Wright State had 24 points and trailed 39-24 at halftime.

Joens’ 21 points came off of six for 10 shooting from the field, one for two from beyond the three-point line and a perfect eight for eight from the free-throw line.

At halftime, Joens only needed 10 more points to reach her career-high in points.

After a hot start in the first half, Joens cooled off offensively, in the beginning of the third quarter, she missed the first four shots that she took in the quarter. She shot one for six in the third quarter, only scoring two points in the quarter.

She finished the game strong, however, by scoring 18 of Iowa State’s 24 points in the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Joens shot five for seven from the field, one for one from beyond the three-point line and seven for eight from the free-throw line to finish with 41 points.

To go along with scoring a career-high 41 points, Joens grabbed 13 rebounds, which gave her a double-double, her fourth of the season.

Joens high octane offense is something defenses have struggled guarding this season.

Out of the nine games that the Cyclones have played this season, Joens has scored at least 20 points in all but two (against Drake and Alabama).

Joens is currently averaging 24.4 points per game, which puts her in the top ten in the country in points per game by a player. As it stands as of Sunday, Joens’ average of 24.4 points per game, would be second best in the country.