Women's Basketball

WBB: Cyclones break three-game losing streak with statement win over Texas

AMES, Iowa – The rollercoaster that Iowa State women’s basketball fans were riding this season was on a bigger nosedive than a ride at AdventureLand in Altoona.

Iowa State had lost three-straight games coming into Monday’s matchup with Texas and the Cyclones weren’t even on 48 hours of rest. They were coming off of one of their worst 3-pointer performances in recent memory. Bill Fennelly’s squad won 66-61.

“We talked before the game,” Fennelly said. “I told them, ‘lets’ just fight.'”

Iowa State played with as much moxie as it had all season. From the opening 8-0 run off with 3-pointers from Ashley Joens and Denae Fritz to her big shot that iced the game with 30 seconds to go.

The only things pointing downward on Monday night at Hilton Coliseum were horns in the crowd.

“I understand people have to talk about, write about and whatever on the 750 thing,” Fennelly said before beginning his press conference. “This has zero to do with me. This is all about our team and the amazing effort they put in against a phenomenal team.”

The win is Iowa State’s first over Texas since February of 2020.

It’s something Fennelly referenced after the game – a hump his team just couldn’t get over, at least until Monday.

“Just the idea that we all have these things in our life that – I’m not going to say you’re afraid of – but whether it’s a tougher class, something you do at work… that you’re like man, I don’t know if I can do this,” Fennelly said. “At I think tonight – win or lose – at least they left here thinking ‘we can compete with them now.'”

Ashley Joens led the way for Iowa State, which improves to 16-7 and 8-5 in the Big 12. Joens finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and drew 12 of the 25 fouls Texas committed.

“Just having a rough couple of games there and being able to come out at Hilton and have our fans with us kind of motivated us,” Joens said.

The Iowa State defense held Texas to a 2-of-14 mark from the line as well as a 27-of-69 (39 percent) mark from the field. That’s not something Texas is used to.

Nor is that specific team used to its opponent responding so well to its punches. The shots to the face – like an incidental bump to the head that caused Lexi Donarski to exit the game for an extended time – were all answered.

“I think our kids can breathe a bit for a couple days and relax,” Fennelly said. “Then we’ve got five to go.”

Iowa State will get some extra rest over the week before facing Baylor on the road on Saturday (5:00 p.m. ESPN+).

Until then, they’ll enjoy this one.

Big 12 WBB Standings
1. Texas 11-3
2. Oklahoma 10-3
3. Iowa State 8-5
3. Oklahoma State 8-5
5. Baylor 7-5
6. Kansas 6-6
6. West Virginia 6-6
8. Texas Tech 4-8
9. Kansas State 3-9
10. TCU 0-13
Wed. Feb. 15
6:00 p.m. | Texas Tech (4-8) @ Oklahoma (10-3)
6:00 p.m. | Kansas (6-6) @ West Virginia (6-6)
6:30 p.m. | Baylor (7-5) @ Kansas State (3-9)
Each game on ESPN+