Women's Basketball

WBB: No. 5 Cyclones roll, set up top 10 matchup Sunday

Iowa State had no sort of problems during its Phil Knight Invitational semifinal matchup with Michigan State, cruising to a 80-49 win in Portland on Thanksgiving night.

The No. 5 Cyclones ran away from their opponents in the first of two showcase games in Oregon, setting up a top 10 matchup on Sunday with No. 8 North Carolina (6:30 p.m. ESPN2).

“We were really good,” coach Bill Fennelly said on the Cyclone Radio Network. “Coach Steyer had a great plan. She did a really good job scouting Michigan State. I think everyone that played did a really good job defensively.”

Stephanie Soares played her most complete game as a Cyclone so far this season, tally a line of 23 points, 11 rebounds, six blocks, and three assists.

It was an excellent showing, not only because of where the team was down elsewhere, but to show what Soares already has and where her floor is at in game No. 5 of the year.

Soares had some extra encouragement with her, with a large group of friends and family that made the trip to Portland from California to see her in action in an Iowa State uniform.

“It’s really special having family and friends watch me – since I’m so far away from home,” Soares said on the Cyclone Radio Network. “It’s not even a pressure, I just enjoy having them here. Getting into these last two games have just been helping me both defensively and offensively.

Ashley Joens only ended with 8 points – she dislocated her non-shooting shoulder in practice leading up to the game against Michigan State.

Although she wasn’t at 100 percent, the shots that Joens put up didn’t look much different. Iowa State didn’t need them to, either.

“Truthfully, going into a game, I don’t know what to expect,” point guard Emily Ryan said. “We usually know the defensive tendencies for a team, but really it’s a lot of feeling out. This is an incredible tournament and we’re really lucky that we were invited to play here. I think (No. 8 North Carolina) is a great opportunity for us.”

Ryan finished with 17 points and eight assists, turning the ball over just once in her 35 minutes on the floor during the game.

Denae Fritz added 10 points and five rebounds on top of it, and the Cyclones never worried about its lead passed the first quarter.

The Cyclones allowed just five points for Michigan State in the second frame in route to a 5-0 start thus far.

Iowa State’s team will be in attendance for Friday’s men’s game against North Carolina that is being played, as well.