KANSAS CITY – Iowa State (22-9, 12-7 Big 12) cemented the Big 12 Tournament title taking down No. 15 Texas (25-9, 14-4 Big 12) by a final score of 61-51 Sunday afternoon. It is Iowa State’s third title in program history and first since 2001.
Ashley Joens earned Most Outstanding Player while Lexi Donarski earned a spot on the All-Tournament team. Joens led the game with 28 points, her third-straight day scoring 20-plus, while grabbing 10 rebounds for her 15th double-double this season.
The Longhorns held a one-point lead at halftime 27-26, but ISU outscored the No. 1-seed Texas 35-24 in the second half to hoist the trophy. Iowa State met Texas in the title game for the second time in program history and first since 2000 where the Cyclones also topped the Longhorns.
How it Happened
Joens sank the first 3-pointer at the 8:08 mark to open scoring. Iowa State went up 7-4 while Texas went 2-of-12 from the field at the first timeout. The Cyclones remained ahead 9-7 as Nyamer Diew fought for the basket off an offensive rebound with two minutes left in the quarter. Joens then hit another 3-pointer to break a tie at 9-9 while Joens dished out the assist to Morgan Kane who made a tough basket to end the first up 14-11.
Kane muscled in a layup once again to knot the score at 16 to kick off the second frame. With 5:46 on the clock, Denae Fritz ignited the crowd with a shot from deep to put the Cyclones ahead 19-18. The game remained tight as Texas held the narrow advantage at 27-26 at the half.
Joens tied things up at 31-31 with her fourth triple to begin the second half. Izzi Zingaro then gave ISU the lead as she fought for the layup to keep the game close. The Cyclones proceeded to take the next four points as Joens drew the foul and made her free throws, making it 37-33. With three seconds on the clock, Diew nailed the 3-pointer to send ISU into the fourth ahead by eight at 47-39.
The lead stretched to double digits (51-41) as Joens sent in the layup with 6:53 to play. The momentum stayed with ISU as Emily Ryan sent the crowd into uproar with a triple to put the scoreboard at 56-41. The advantage remained at 10 as Donarski battled through defenders for the layup and a score of 58-45. The clock winded down and ISU ended victorious to take the title by a score of 61-51.
Ashley Joens led the game with 28 points for her 19th game this season scoring 20 or more. Jones had a final line of 28 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Morgan Kane made crucial plays in her 27 minutes of play. Kane shot at 3-of-6 from the field and made 3-of-4 free throws for nine points while adding six rebounds.
Iowa State will wait to hear its name called tonight at the 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Selection Show at 7 p.m. on ESPN.