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Women’s College Basketball: Joens’ big day not enough as No. 15 ISU loses at SDSU, 76-69

This news story was published on November 28, 2020.
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BROOKINGS, South Dakota – No. 15 Iowa State (1-1) rallied multiple times, but came up short, falling at South Dakota State (1-0) 76-69 Saturday afternoon at Frost Arena in the first ever meeting between the two programs.

Iowa State struggled in shooting, making just 20-of-62 shots (32.3 percent), 6-of-32 from 3-point range. The visitors were also hampered by 18 turnovers. Leading the way in defeat was Ashley Joens, who got career double-double No. 19 with 36 points, her second-best scoring effort of her career and tied for the fifth-best single-game points scored in program history, and 12 rebounds. Joining her in double figures was Lexi Donarski with 13 and Kristin Scott with 11.

How It Happened

Despite getting a 3-pointer from Ashley Joens on the first possession of the game, the Cyclones were in a hole early as the home side ripped off a 10-0 run to get ahead 12-5. The Cyclone offense struggled to get back into the contest, going into a slump of over five minutes without a field goal. However, the defense helped keep things close and Kristin Scott’s 3-pointer with 36 seconds left help keep it as a one-possession game in the first period.

Scott drew two fouls in the early minutes of the second quarter which put the Cyclones’ depth to test. SDSU was initially able to take advantage, with Haley Greer’s lay-in pushing the lead to double figures at 31-20. Ashley Joens continued to pile up the points, as she got seven-straight to help ISU get within four again at 34-30. Her 3-pointer in the final seconds made the halftime deficit four at 37-33.

The Cyclones shooting was cold coming out of the locker room, making just two of their first 13 to begin the half. An Emily Ryan lay-in got the Jackrabbit lead down to a point, but SDSU was able to go on an 11-0 run to get the lead back into double figures at 51-39. Iowa State continued to battle, and was able to score nine of the final 10 points of the period, with Lexi Donarski laying in late to get the SDSU advantage back down to four.

The Jacks claimed the first six points of the quarter to get the lead back into double figures at 58-48. It took the Cyclones nearly three minutes to get on the board in the period. The visitors could only get as close as six points, as ISU continued to struggle to find the hoop, converting just 6-of-17 field goals in the fourth and going 1-of-9 from 3-point range.

Players of Note

Ashley Joens had another monster game, with her 36 points being her second-highest output of her career and fifth-most in a game in program history. She went 15-of-16 from the line on the afternoon. She also got her 19th career double-double, grabbing 12 rebounds.

Lexi Donarski was in double figures for the first time in her career, finishing with 13 points, including hitting her first two career 3-pointers.

Up Next

Iowa State opens Big 12 play Wednesday at TCU. Tip between the Cyclones and Horned Frogs will be at 6:30 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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