Women's Basketball

WBB: Depleted Cyclones escape UMass, win Gulf Coast Showcase

Six players combined to play 199 minutes in Iowa State’s game on Sunday, and it took all of them to get by and take home the Gulf Coast Showcase championship.

The Cyclones lead by as many as 19 points in their 76-71 win over Massachusetts on Sunday, before Ashley Joens scored the team’s final five points to help clinch a championship victory.

“Coach Bill Fennelly said they were going to fight back and we knew they were,” Joens said on the FloHoops broadcast after the game. “We just had to keep playing defense and keep fighting.”

Joens finished the game with 23 points and 12 rebounds and was named the tournament’s most outstanding player and Lexi Donarski was named on the all-tournament team.

Donarski added 23 points as well.

Iowa State joins a long list of established programs to win the Gulf Coast Showcase, including South Carolina, UCONN, and Baylor.

“I couldn’t be more proud,” Fennelly said on the broadcast. “That’s an impressive list – that’s a who’s who of women’s basketball. Our program probably hasn’t done what they have, but we aren’t doing the wrong things to take us off a list like that.”

The Cyclones even nearly got to see a post player go home with a double-double. Morgan Kane came up big in the win, collecting 11 points and nine rebounds through 27 minutes of action.

That’s noteworthy for the team, still building at the start of the year.

With the win, Iowa State has improved to a 7-0 mark as it continues to set the foundation of a team ranked in the top 15 of the preseason AP Poll.

“This game and all of the games we’ve played so far have helped us,” Joens said. “Just being able to come back after being hit like UMass got us (out of the half) will help us out. We just have to learn from this experience and continue to improve so that we can make a big statement later on in the season.”

Combined with the men’s basketball team, the two programs are 13-0 overall to start the season.

After Sunday, Iowa State is one of five programs nationally to remain undefeated on both sides joining Arizona, BYU, Duke, and Iowa.

They’ll take a trophy back to Ames and get ready for the next one.

“When you win a championship its not about winning the game, its about how you go through life,” Fennelly said. “It was a great experience for our team.”

Iowa State will return to the court on Thursday to play its annual Big 12/SEC Challenge game, this year’s being a road trip to Baton Rouge