Women's Basketball

WBB: Iowa State overcomes slow third quarter, wins top 25 matchup with Villanova

Iowa State led No. 25 Villanova by 19 points at the halftime break on Sunday.

The Cyclones didn’t score in the third quarter for six and 1/2 minutes, but still went on to earn the 74-62 win in the Invesco QQQ Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase game in Uncasville, Conn.

“We set the sport back about 10 years the first five minutes (of the third quarter),” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said on the Cyclone Radio Network broadcast. “We’ve got to coach that better. We only got outscored (in the third quarter) by four, I thought that was great. I thought our effort was really good from start-to-finish.”

The Cyclones defensive prowess ended up being key to rounding things out in the showcase game to eventually clinch the win on the neutral court.

Emily Ryan nearly came home with Iowa State’s first triple-double since 2014, finishing with 16 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds in 39 minutes.

Ryan was as dynamic as she gets around the floor, earning a block and a steal to go along with a perfect 7-7 mark at the free throw line.

“It’s a huge win for us,” Ryan said on the radio broadcast. “They’re a really, really good team and Maddy Siegrist is as good as advertised… When adversity hit, I was glad that we were ready for battle.”

Ashley Joens earned a team-high 17 points in a game where all five starters scored in double figures. Joens found her way to 10 rebounds and earned yet another double-double to her career total.

Joens finished 4-6 from the 3-point line as part of a 50 percent performance (10-20) for the Cyclones.

“When the shots start falling, you’re confidence really goes up,” Joens said on the Varsity Network broadcast. “When you see one go, the ball just starts flying.”

Stephanie Soares went for 14 points and 11 boards in similar fashion and Denae Fritz played one of her best games in an Iowa State uniform with 13 points on 5-6 shooting.

Iowa State’s final non-conference game of the regular season comes Thursday at Hilton Coliseum, where the Cyclones will square off with in-state rival Drake (5:00 p.m. ESPN+).