ESTERO, Florida – No. 13 Iowa State (7-0) closed out the Gulf Coast Showcase with a tough 76-71 win over UMass (7-1) to grab the Gulf Coast Showcase Championship. The win gives the 13th-ranked Cyclones an unblemished 7-0 record to start the season.
Against the Minutewomen, Iowa State was led by Ashley Joens and Lexi Donarski, who both finished with 23 points in the championship game, en route to being named to the All-Tournament team, with Joens being honored as the Tournament MVP.
How It Happened
The Cyclones and Minutewomen kept things close for much of the first quarter, as the ISU offense stalled from long range, going just 2-of-12 in the early goings and taking an 18-12 first quarter lead. ISU would turn things up a notch in the second quarter, shooting 50 percent from the field. ISU would get some separation after an 8-0 run, spurred by two triples by Aubrey Joens to give the Cyclones a 15-point cushion, 38-23, with 3:30 to go in the second quarter.
Iowa State would take a 48-35 lead at the half with three Cyclones already in double figures with Ashley Joens leading the pack with 13 points, followed by Aubrey Joens with 12 and Donarski with 10 points.
UMass would put together the makings of a comeback, going on a 15-3 run to start the third quarter and pull the game within single digits, 51-42, before the under-5 timeout. For the Cyclones, the third quarter belonged to Donarski, who led Iowa State with 11 of Iowa State’s 17 third quarter points. Donarski would help give ISU a nine-point lead heading into the final quarter, 62-53.
UMass would continue to chip away at the Iowa State lead in the final 10 minutes, with Destiney Philoxy pulling the Minutewomen within one point, 69-68 with 2:51 to go, forcing the Cyclone timeout. A 3-pointer by Ashley Joens with 1:54 to play would give Iowa State a 72-68 lead it would not relinquish, as ISU would hold on for the 76-71 win.
Players of Note
Lexi Donarski was clutch for the Cyclones, scoring 23 points for her second 20-point performance of the season. Her 11 third-quarter points helped keep UMass at bay.
Aubrey Joens continued her stellar shooting from long range, knocking down five triples off 5-of-9 shooting and finishing the game with 15 points and six boards.
Ashley Joens finished the game with 23 points and 12 rebounds for her 34th career double-double. Joens also moved into fifth all-time in career scoring at Iowa State (1,822), passing Jayme Olson (1,799).
Iowa State will travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to take on LSU on Thursday, Dec. 2 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The game will air on ESPN2 at 8 p.m.