No. 5 Iowa State cruises past Michigan State 80-49

Nov 24, 2022, 4:32 AM | Updated: 7:31 pm

Iowa State guard Emily Ryan (11) celebrates after scoring a 3-pointer against Michigan State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Phil Knight Invitational tournament Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Stephanie Soares seems to be adjusting just fine to playing at a higher level of competition, much to the benefit of Iowa State.

Soares matched her season high with 23 points and added 11 rebounds and six blocks as No. 5 Iowa State rolled past Michigan State 80-49 on Thursday night in the semifinals of the Phil Knight Invitational.

Soares, a 6-foot-6 transfer from The Master’s where she was a two-time NAIA national player of the year, dominated on the interior, making 10 of 14 shots.

“She’s not there yet but the physicality at this level is something she hasn’t seen, but every day she’s gotten better. Our strength and conditioning coach has done a great job,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “The kid loves to play. She plays with a smile on her face and obviously she has a unique skill set for the women’s game.”

Emily Ryan added 17 points and eight assists, and the Cyclones cruised despite an off shooting night by leading scorer Ashley Joens, the Big 12 preseason player of the year. Joens was averaging 25.5 points, but managed just eight.

Iowa State (5-0) began the week ranked in the top five of the AP Top 25 for the first time sine Dec. 31, 2001, when the program reached its highest ranking in school history at No. 4. The Cyclones will have a chance to make a case for a higher ranking with a top-10 matchup against North Carolina in the championship game on Sunday.

Fennelly noted there will be two matchups between Iowa State and North Carolina this weekend with the two men’s teams meeting in the semifinals of that tournament on Friday.

“They’re a top-10 team for a reason and it’ll be a great challenge,” he said. “But like I told our kids, you’re playing a great program in an NBA arena for a championship. Doesn’t get much better than that.”

DeeDee Hagemann led Michigan State (6-1) with 14 points and Kamaria McDaniel added 11. The Spartans played without leading scorer Matilda Ekh, who was in her native Sweden due to national team commitments. The school expects her to rejoin the team in time for Sunday’s third-place game. Ekh is averaging 11.2 points.

The Cyclones were dominant in the first half, taking a 37-17 halftime lead. Michigan State struggled shooting in the first half, making just 6 of 30 shots and went nearly the final seven minutes of the second quarter without a made basket. Michigan State missed its first 12 3-point attempts before Stephanie Visscher hit the team’s first in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

“I thought we defended better than we have all year and that’s been a struggle for us, perimeter defense. But tonight, I felt we were really good,” Fennelly said.


Iowa State: The Cyclones showed they can be more than just Joens offensively. Nine of the 12 Iowa State players that saw time scored. Joens had led the Cyclones in scoring in three of four games this season.

Michigan State: The Spartans had shot 49% from the field through their first six games, so the bad shooting night was an outlier that could be more an indication about the quality of opponent. Not having Ekh was a big loss with her team-leading 18 3-pointers on the season.


Iowa State: The Cyclones will face No. 8 North Carolina in the championship game on Sunday.

Michigan State: The Spartans will face No. 18 Oregon in the third-place game on Sunday.


AP women’s college basketball: and and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Japan's head coach Hajime Moriyasu whistles during the World Cup group E soccer match between Japan...
Associated Press

World Cup redemption for Japan coach 29 years later in Qatar

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — The “Agony of Doha” came 29 years ago, and Hajime Moriyasu experienced it first-hand as a midfielder on Japan’s national soccer team. He’s now the coach, and he’s made amends. Japan won its World Cup group on Thursday after beating 2010 champion Spain 2-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium. Last […]
16 hours ago
Sepp Straka, of Austria, tosses a ball to his caddie during the first round of the Hero World Chall...
Associated Press

Tiger replacement Sepp Straka shares lead in the Bahamas

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Sepp Straka was home in Alabama preparing for a big week of golf matches at his club, a friend’s wedding and the SEC Championship game. And then Tiger Woods couldn’t play in the Bahamas because of a foot injury, and Straka had a change in plans. It worked out OK for […]
16 hours ago
FILE - NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano speaks during the NASCAR Championship media day, Thursd...
Associated Press

Logano celebates 2nd NASCAR Cup title already wanting 3rd

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Joey Logano has a simple target for the future even as he celebrates his 2022 NASCAR Cup championship. Add yet another. Logano this season joined Kyle Busch as the only active NASCAR drivers with multiple Cup series titles, adding to the first Cup championship he won in 2018. Being the only […]
16 hours ago
Japan's Ritsu Doan celebrates scoring his side's first goal during a World Cup group E soccer match...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: World Cup highlights from Day 12

Highlights from the 12th day of the World Cup in Qatar on Thursday. ___ AP World Cup coverage: and Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
2 days ago
Germany's Serge Gnabry scores his side's opening goal during the World Cup group E soccer match bet...
Associated Press

Germany out of World Cup despite 4-2 win over Costa Rica

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Back-to-back early exits at the World Cup have Germany coach Hansi Flick wanting to go back to basics. The four-time champions were again eliminated from the group stage, four years after their embarrassing display as defending champions in Russia. Something has to change, Flick said after a 4-2 victory over […]
2 days ago
Japan's Ao Tanaka, second right, heads the ball to score his side's second goal during the World Cu...
Associated Press

Japan beats Spain 2-1 as both teams advance at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Same stadium. Same result. Similar shocking victory for Japan at the World Cup. After beating Germany in the team’s opener, Japan worked its way into the round of 16 of the World Cup on Thursday by defeating Spain 2-1 — the same score as last week. Spain also advanced despite the […]
2 days ago
No. 5 Iowa State cruises past Michigan State 80-49