Ashley Joens ended the first half of Saturday’s game against Texas with two points, six minutes of playing time and three fouls.
She didn’t play in the second half until the clock was down to under three minutes.
It ultimately plagued the Cyclones in their second loss of the Big 12 season, falling to the Longhorns 70-59.
“I think any team, if you take your best player out for half of the game, it’s hard to win,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said.
Iowa State opened the game playing an aggressive style of defense.
The team pressured and things were going about as well as they could have hoped.
Once Joens picked up two early fouls, the plan changed.
“It definitely changed when (Joens) got two fouls,” Fennelly said. “We changed our matchups and it probably hurt us a little bit.”
Joens finished the game with 17 points and the Cyclones were plus-nine while she was on the floor.
That’s something Iowa State – who twice went from being leveled with Texas to to being down by double digits – could have used.
One of those stretches included the deficit going from one point for the Cyclone to 15 points while Joens was sitting at the scorers table ready to check in.
“I was just thinking, ‘We’ve got to get a stop,” Joens said.
But the stop never came. Fennelly called a timeout.
Iowa State didn’t have another player finish in the double digits in scoring and without Joens’ seven made shots, they only made 14 shots as a team.
“We’ve got to figure that out,” Fennelly said. “We’ve got to figure out ways to score and get other kids opportunities. We just couldn’t get the ball in the basket tonight again and we’ve got to play through the contact. We’ve got to do (all of) that a little better.”
The loss drops Iowa State to 10-5 (6-2 Big 12) on the season.
Although they were swept by Texas, the team still holds three Big 12 road wins, including last week’s game over Baylor.
“I’m really proud with how our team has played up to this point,” Fennelly said. “The last time we lost to Texas we went to rattle off four in a row.”
Iowa State will return to the court on on Thursday night as they take on Kansas State on the road. The game will tip at 6:30 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN+.