“We just have to understand that the way to play us is just to maul us and beat Ashley Joens up.”
That’s what Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly came to realize after coaching his team’s game earlier this week – an 81-75 loss to Texas on Monday.
As the Cyclones turn their attention to the ensuing road date with Oklahoma, they look to experience more of the same on Saturday (1:00 p.m. Fox Sports Oklahoma).
Joens – a sophomore – has produced for Iowa State at the next level this season, leading the Big 12 Conference in scoring at 23.5 points per game. Not to mention, she’s the only player in the nation averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds a game.
Joens is producing so much compared to the rest of the roster that it has forced teams to attack Iowa City native from the opening tipoff.
“She’s as tough as they come,” Fennelly said. “That’s the way people are going to guard her. We know that. She knows it. If she does get frustrated she does a great job of not showing it. She understands that that’s what this league is about.”
Joens has continued to produce, however, which is an indicator of her toughness. Fennelly compared her to former Cyclone Bridget Carleton in her ‘put your head down and play’ attitude.
“Even when it happens you don’t see her react,” Fennelly said. “She still plays well, puts up good numbers, and continues to impact our team.”
Joens attests her mentality and toughness to the family she grew up with. She said that her parents raised her to be competitive and one-on-one games with her sisters regularly ended ugly.
“It got to the point where we weren’t allowed to play each other without someone bleeding or crying,” Joens said.
That’s how it’s always been for Joens. She’s always been competitive. However, she’s also always been the point of emphasis for opposing teams. She averaged over 30 points per game in high school.
“I think that’s something she came here with,” Fennelly said. “She’s a tough kid. She was raised that way. With the exception of last year – as a freshman – she was probably the target of every team she played against.”
With that being said, Iowa State will look to open things up a bit more for Joens on Saturday. That’s what kept them from taking advantage of an 11-0 run to open the game against Texas.
Iowa State is lined up for another road game, but it will depend on the adjustments they make on if they can come back with a ‘W.’
|Big 12 WBB Standings|
Upcoming Big 12 WBB Games
Saturday, Jan. 11
1:00 p.m. | Iowa State (1-1) @ Oklahoma (1-1)
3:00 p.m. | Kansas State (0-1) @ Texas Tech (1-1)
Sunday, Jan. 12
Noon | Texas (1-1) @ No. 19 West Virginia (2-0)
1:00 p.m. | Oklahoma State (1-1) @ No. 6 Baylor (1-0)
2:00 p.m. | Kansas (0-2) @ TCU (1-1)
Wednesday, Jan. 15
6:00 p.m. | Oklahoma (1-1) @ West Virginia (2-0)
6:30 p.m. | Oklahoma State (1-1) @ Kansas State (0-1)
6:30 p.m. | TCU (1-1) @ Iowa State (1-1)
7:00 p.m. | Baylor (1-0) @ Kansas (0-2)
7:00 p.m. | Texas Tech (1-1) @ Texas (1-1)