KANSAS CITY – Iowa State (21-9, 12-7 Big 12) topped No. 14 Oklahoma (25-6, 14-5 Big 12) by a final of 82-72 in the semifinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship Saturday afternoon. With the victory, ISU advances to the championship game for the first time since 2019 and seventh time in program history. Iowa State will take on No. 15 Texas on Sunday at 1 p.m.
After holding a three-point advantage at the half, Iowa State outscored Oklahoma 24-14 in the third quarter and would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way. Iowa State also shot 10-plus 3-pointers for the second-consecutive day with 11 made.
Ashley Joens hit the milestone of her 3,000th career points to become just the 14th player in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to reach the mark. Joens led with 22 points while Lexi Donarski also had a 20-point performance notching 20. Nyamer Diew came one-point shy of making for three 20-plus point scorers with 19.
How it Happened
Joens cut OU’s early lead of four down to one on a 3-pointer before OU took a 7-0 run to lead 11-3. ISU battled back as Donarski, Denae Fritz and Diew hit three-straight shots from deep to cut into the deficit at 15-12. ISU then took the lead of 16-14 as Joens drew the foul and made her two free throws. At the end of the first, Oklahoma edged Iowa State 19-18.
The second frame opened with a Joens shot from beyond the arc, the fifth for ISU. After a tie at 27-27, Diew hit her second 3-pointer with just over five minutes left in the half. Diew kept it rolling with her third triple to extend a lead out to six at 33-27. OU then came back to knot the contest at 37 with 1:47 on the clock. With 18 seconds to go, Joens blocked a shot while Donarski grabbed the rebound and followed to connect on the jumper at the other end of the court to end the half ahead 42-39.
Donarski continued shooting perfect from deep with her second made to enter the second half. Joens then officially notched career-point No. 3,000 on a jumper in the midst of ISU beginning a hot streak. The streak featured five-straight shots to stretch a lead of 54-43 with 6:35 left to cause an OU timeout. Iowa State remained with the lead, building it to as much as 16 (61-45). Fritz muscled in the layup off her own offensive rebound as ISU entered the final quarter ahead 66-53.
After ISU went out to its largest lead of the game at 17 ahead, Oklahoma hit a scoring run of 11 while ISU remained with the advantage at 70-64. With the clock at 3:33, Diew brought in her fourth trey to move the score to 75-67. Ryan followed to ignite the crowd with a 3-pointer to become the fifth to make a shot from beyond the arc. Iowa State remained ahead to solidify the double-digit victory 82-72.
Ashley Joens led the game with 22 points, her second-consecutive day scoring more than 20. Lexi Donarski had her fifth 20-plus point performance of the season and 15th of her career as she put up 20 (7-of-11 shooting), two off her career high. Donarski also ended the day shooting perfectly with three 3-pointers. Nyamer Diew set a new career high with her four 3-pointers made on just six attempts. Diew put up a total of 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting, her sixth double figure game this season.
Iowa State seeks its third title in tomorrow’s final of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship at 1 p.m. facing Texas. The last time ISU faced UT in the championship game was in 2000 where the Cyclones took the victory 75-65.