CEDAR FALLS – Iowa State (4-3, 1-0 Big 12) defeated UNI (3-3), 67-61, on Tuesday night at the McLeod Center. The Cyclones were able to grind out a hard-fought victory on the road, holding the Panthers to 35.1 percent shooting from the field, while forcing 18 turnovers on the night.
Freshman Lexi Donarski was 9-of-9 from the free throw line en route to a game-high 19 points, followed by 18 from senior Kristin Scott, who also had 11 rebounds for a double-double. Kylie Feuerbach joined them in double figures with 13 points.
The ISU offense struggled to find a rhythm in the early going due to a cold shooting performance in the first quarter. The Cyclones were 2-of-13 from the field and 1-of-7 from 3-point territory in the opening period. The freshman duo of Donarski and Feuerbach scored all nine of Iowa State’s points as the Cyclones found themselves in a 12-9 hole after one quarter of play.
A 10-2 run for the Cyclones to open the second quarter flipped momentum in favor of the Cardinal & Gold. Donarski scored five during the spurt, which was capped by an Aubrey Joens 3-pointer to put Iowa State in front 19-14 with 6:36 to play in the quarter. She splashed home another triple just two minutes later to extend Iowa State’s lead to 26-16 at the 4:40 mark. An 11-0 Panther run saw UNI regain the lead momentarily before Joens’ third 3-pointer of the half helped ISU to a 31-29 halftime lead.
Iowa State’s star junior Ashley Joens was held to just seven minutes of action in the first half due to foul trouble in the early going.
Scott scored five straight during a 7-0 Cyclone spurt that would make it a 42-33 lead with 6:14 to play in the third quarter.
However, UNI continued to claw back, knocking down three 3-pointers in the period, capped by a Karli Rucker triple from the top of the key in the closing seconds to make it a one-possession game at 53-50 in favor of Iowa State with 10 minutes to play.
The two teams traded punches in a back-and-forth final quarter before the Cyclones were able to pull away down the stretch.
Donarski knocked down a beautiful step back jumper to give ISU a 63-58 advantage with 3:14 to play. Feuerbach then had a key drive into the paint for a left-handed layup to make it 65-59 at the 2:10 mark, and a strong Cyclone defensive effort continued to close out the victory.
Kristin Scot had a terrific 18-point, 11-rebound double-double to help lead Iowa State past in-state foe UNI. Scott was a terror on the glass, with seven of her game-high 11 rebounds coming on the offensive end, giving the Cyclones second-chance opportunities time and again. She also had two blocks and two steals.
Lexi Donarski put up 19 points vs. UNI on the heels of a season-high 25-point performance on Saturday vs. NDSU. The freshman was 5-of-9 from the field and 9-of-9 at the charity stripe, to go with five rebounds and two assists.
Iowa State returns to Big 12 play on Friday at Hilton Coliseum vs. Kansas State. The game will tip-off at 6 p.m. and be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.