Women's Basketball

WBB: Lexi Donarski’s 22 points help No. 8 Cyclones past Southern

Despite a night where No. 8 Iowa State shot just 24 percent from the 3-point line, Lexi Donarski kept things separated in a game that ended with a closer margin of victory than it could have been.

Donarski finished the game with a 8-of-16 mark from the field, helping her team to a 77-54 win and a 2-0 start to the season.

“I thought we played really hard,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “Unfortunately, it was a game where our inability to make a shot impacted the other things we did. That’s something we’ve got to fix.”

Fennelly wasn’t pleased with the 38 missed shots he watched hit off the side of the rim or miss it entirely.

He was disgusted with the eight missed free throws.

“We had way to many people tonight that let their inability to make a shot impact how they played,” Fennelly said. “We just kind of had that look on our face like, ‘it’s not my night’ or ‘I’m not making any shots.'”

Yet, Iowa State found a way to win – convincingly, even.

The Cyclones improve to 2-0 on the season going into a mid-week rivalry game against Northern Iowa on Wednesday.

However, if the group allows things to snowball like it did against Southern, it could be a tough game for the team.

“This was a game where we needed to do a better job – everyone and it starts with the coaching staff – of, ‘you’re not making shots, find something to do – go rebound or go defend,” Fennelly said. “We have to do a better job when we’re not making shots.”

That’s been something that has hindered Iowa State in games – and it’s not an easy thing to tackle.

When shots aren’t falling, the upsets can happen.

Fortunately for Iowa State, it got enough to fall on Thursday. Now, it has five days to go to the drawing board to prevent something similar happening in Cedar Falls.

“I told the team it’s always good to win,” Fennelly said. “At the end of the year, there’s not going to be any asterisk about how well you played or didn’t play.”

No. 8 Iowa State returns to the court on Wednesday, November 16 where it will take on UNI in its first true road game of the season at the McLeod Center (6:00 p.m. ESPN+).