KANSAS CITY – Iowa State (20-9, 12-7 Big 12) ended victorious with the 74-63 victory over Baylor (19-12, 10-9 Big 12) Friday night in the quarterfinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship. ISU capped the win on an 11-point scoring run to move on to the semifinals.
The score stood at 63-63 with just over four minutes of play remaining while the Cyclones held Baylor scoreless from there. Ashley Joens was magnificent through the night, ending with 30 points and totaling seven 3-pointers. Emily Ryan put up 15 points and Morgan Kane had 10 to make for three in double figures.
Iowa State recorded 10 3-pointers to total 258 on the season. Iowa State has now hit the mark of 250 in 17 seasons in program history, all 17 coming under head coach Bill Fennelly.
How it Happened
Iowa State began the contest on a run of five-straight and continued to build momentum from there. Kane and Joens brought in six points each in the opening five minutes while ISU drained three from deep to lead 10-5. After the first quarter, Iowa State held the advantage 19-14.
Joens hit her third 3-pointer at the 8:26 mark of the second quarter to make it 22-16 ISU. Lexi Donarski tallied the fifth shot beyond the arc with seven minutes to go before Baylor answered with one of their own to make it a one-point game at 25-24. The Bears followed to take their first lead but ISU took it back as Ryan converted a three-point play. Baylor made a layup with one second left in the half to knot the score at 37.
The second half opened with back-and-forth action before Joens stretched a lead to five (46-41) on her fourth triple. Ryan put up a dominant third-quarter performance, bringing in eight points in the quarter alone while remaining perfect from the charity stripe (7-of-7) to make the score 52-49. Ryan drained four-straight free throws while Joens extended the run to six to end the third up 54-49.
Joens remained hot beyond the arc, sinking her fifth to hold the lead at 59-53 entering the final frame. Joens was not done there, making her sixth and seventh on back-to-back possessions to put the scoreboard at 71-63. Donarski brought in the third-straight triple to total 10 for ISU with 1:25 remaining. The shot from deep put the score at 74-63 to send the Cyclones onto victory.
Player of the Game
Ashley Joens showed why she is the 2023 Big 12 Player of the Year, bringing in her fourth 30-plus point performance of the season and 19th of her career. The senior added 15 rebounds for her 14th double-double this season for a total of 63 on her career. Jones moves up a spot to No. 14 on the NCAA DI all-time leading scorers list, now holding 2,987 career points.
The Cyclones move on to the semifinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship, facing No. 14 Oklahoma tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.