No. 9 Iowa State pulls away from Texas Tech, 71-55
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Ashley Joens scored 24 points as No. 9 Iowa State pulled away for a 71-55 win over Texas Tech on Saturday.
Joens hit nine of 14 of shots and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Cyclones (24-4, 13-3 Big 12) assured themselves at least a share of the conference lead heading into a Monday showdown with Baylor.
“We’re all excited,” Joens said of playing the fifth-ranked Bears with a possible Big 12 title on the line. “Any time you get to play Baylor at home with all our fans. … It’s a big game, so we have to come ready to go.”
Emily Ryan added 11 points and nine assists for Iowa State.
Taylah Thomas led Tech (10-17, 3-13) with 16 points. Lexi Donarski added 10.
Tech took a brief 35-33 lead in the third quarter, before Joens ignited a 14-2 Cyclones run with a 3-pointer. Beatriz Jordao added back-to-back layups and Nyamer Diew hit a 3-pointer from the right wing as Iowa State built a 47-37 advantage.
“Our defense picked up in the second half,” Joens said. “That kind of help lead us to more fluent offense as well.”
A basket by Morgan Kane helped the Cyclones take a 55-41 lead into the fourth quarter. A Ryan 3-pointer with 6:21 left put the Cyclones up 64-47.
The Cyclones jumped to an early 14-6 lead, but Tech was resilient. The Red Raiders, who lost nine of their previous 10 games, pulled within 20-18 on a 3-pointer by Bryn Gerlich and a layup by Lexy Hightower.
Joens helped Iowa State maintain a slim 33-31 edge at halftime, hitting her first three attempts from 3-point range and scoring 15 points in the first 20 minutes.
“I thought our kids showed a lot of courage today,” Cyclones coach Bill Fennelly said. “First time in a while that things didn’t look real pretty, but I thought the second half we did exactly what we needed to do.”
Joens needed just 3 points to crack the Big 12’s top 10 scoring list, surpassing Kalani Brown, who scored 2,209 points for Baylor from 2015-2019. Joens has now scored 2,230 in her career. Joens also got the 1,000th rebound of her career in the first half.
Texas Tech hosts TCU on Wednesday before visiting Baylor on March 6.
Iowa State hosts Big 12 co-leader Baylor on Monday, then wraps up the regular season March 5 at West Virginia.
More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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