AMES – No. 22 Iowa State (16-7, 8-5 Big 12) returned to the win column with a wire-to-wire win over No. 17 Texas (20-7, 11-3 Big 12) to bring in head coach Bill Fennelly’s 750th career victory. The 66-61 victory snapped a seven-game series skid to the Longhorns.
Fennelly became part of elite company as the 27th NCAA women’s basketball head coach to reach the milestone of 750 and one of nine active coaches. Fennelly is also the 13th to get the total at the Division I level, with his first 166 career wins coming at Toledo.
Ashley Joens added another record to her collection as she made her 149th career start to break the Big 12 record. With the total, Joens downs Baylor’s Britney Griner’s record of 148 set from 2010-13. Joens led double-figure scoring Cyclones with 24 points. Emily Ryan (12), Lexi Donarski (11) and Denae Fritz (10) totaled four scorers with 10-plus points. Iowa State shot at nearly 50 percent through the night while never giving up the lead and holding Texas to under 40 percent from the field.
How it Happened
Fritz started the contest off with a triple one minute into play followed by another by Joens to take the early lead. The Cyclones continued to hold the Longhorns scoreless for over three minutes to go up 8-0. The 3-pointers continued to fall as Donarski netted one of her own to put the score at 11-2 at the six-minute mark. ISU continued the efficient shooting to take a 22-11 lead after the first.
Iowa State continued to hold a 10-point edge as Ryan drove up to the basket off her own steal for an advantage of 28-14 halfway through the frame. With three minutes left in the half, Joens remained perfect beyond the arc on her second make while the Cyclones went ahead by 13. At the half, Iowa State led 24-33 powered by nearly 50 percent shooting from the field including 80 percent from the 3-point line.
ISU began the second half on 4-of-7 shooting to keep control of UT, leading 42-32 with five minutes remaining in the third. Ryan continued her stellar performance, netting her fifth field goal on just six attempts to extend the lead. As the third came to a close, Joens hit her third trey while Donarski hit the buzzer-beating triple to put Hilton on its feet while the Cyclones brought a 52-40 lead into the fourth.
Donarski opened the final quarter with another shot from deep, her third of the game. The Longhorns trimmed their deficit to 57-53 after a pair of scoring runs with three minutes on the clock. After UT brought it within three, Joens converted a three-point play to push her over 20 points. With 30 seconds left in the contest, Fritz brought in a crucial shot with the eighth ISU 3-pointer to stretch a lead of five. The Cyclones held the lead to end victorious, 66-61.
Ashley Joens had her 11th 20-plus point game of the season and 68th of her career. Joens’ final line was brought to 24 points (7-of-16 shooting), eight rebounds and two steals.
Emily Ryan notched her 14th game in double figures this season while ending two assists shy of a double-double. Ryan brought in 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting while recording four steals in the victory.
No. 22 Iowa State heads to Waco to meet Baylor this Saturday at 5 p.m. The game will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.