Iowa State shot the ball 20 times during the first quarter of Tuesday night’s 67-61 loss to Oklahoma in Norman.
The Cyclones made three of them.
It ultimately dug the Cyclones into a hole that the team had to fight to come out of the entire rest of the game. That’s not to say the other 30 minutes differed extremely.
“In the first quarter, we got any shot we wanted and we couldn’t make them,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “Then we go 0-4 from the free-throw line. We’ve got to make shots to win games and we didn’t make anything tonight.”
The overwhelming issue was that the Cyclones just didn’t make shots.
The team ended the game with a 4-10 mark from the charity stripe and hit just nine 3-pointers out of the 35 it attempted.
Without Aubrey Joens’ five triples, they would have only made four.
“I’d probably say the 3-point line and the free throw line (hurt us the most),” Fennelly said. “Certainly the free throw line was not good, but you can’t go 9-35 (from three). If you take Aubrey (Joens) out of there, it was really bad.”
Fennelly was audibly frustrated after the loss.
It drops the Cyclones to a 12-8 record overall and an 8-5 mark in Big 12 play, but the stinger of it is that if they shot the ball even near their average this year, that L turns into a W.
“That’s the game,” Fennelly said. “Our team has to be a team that makes their open shots and spreads the court. We outrebounded them, we held Taylor Robertson to four points, we only turned the ball over eight times… but we had some kids have some tough nights.”
Iowa State’s Kristin Scott, Ashley Joens and Aubrey Joens finished the game combining for 51 of the team’s points.
The rest combined for 10.
“I thought Kristin (Scott) and Ashley (Joens) were really good,” Fennelly said. “Aubrey (Joens) gave us some life in the first half, but other than that, we didn’t get much from anyone else. Our freshman starters really struggled and we didn’t get much from the bench either.”
Three of Aubrey Joens’ deep balls came in the second quarter, where she nearly singlehandedly dug the Cyclones out of that hole.
At one point she had back-to-back three’s trimming the deficit to just seven points at halftime.
“(Joens) played well,” Fennelly said. “She struggled in the second half, like everyone else, but Aubrey gave us some quality minutes. She gave us some energy in the first half, got us back in the game, played hard, played well and she’s certainly earning some more minutes.”
Joens, the younger of the two sisters, finished with a career-high 17 points, hitting five 3-pointers in the game.
It was the first time she had been in double digits in conference play since the Cyclones faced TCU in the third game of this season.
“I just had to take the open shots,” Joens said. “It was fun (hitting the back-to-back 3’s). Just knocking down shots like that is fun.”
The team is looking for a repeat performance from her when they take on the Horned Frogs again this Saturday at Hilton Coliseum for its next home game.
Until then, they’ll work on shooting.