Women's Basketball

WBB: TCU rout provides momentum for Cyclones heading into key stretch

AMES — With two games to go in the regular season, Iowa State is just playing ball.

That was as true as ever during Saturday night’s 84-56 win over TCU in Hilton Coliseum, which improved the team to an 18-8 mark on the year with a 10-6 record in Big 12 play.

“That was a really solid effort from start to finish,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said of his team’s most lopsided win of the Big 12 season. “To get to 10 wins in this league and to finally get a sweep is good.”

The sky-high expectations the team started the year with have changed. It still needs a successful week in the next six days to make sure it’s in a spot to contend for a different spot – one that would put the team in position to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

Hardly anything has been decided for good, and there isn’t a single Big 12 team that feels untouchable – for Iowa State or any of its opponents.

“If we (execute) our scouting report defense and we make some shots, then we can compete with a lot of people,” Fennelly said.

Iowa State is just playing ball.

This particular contest, which Iowa State actually trailed in early, turned into as much of a get-right game as it could be.

Ashley Joens scored 22 points in vintage fashion, fighting her way to 11 rebounds along the way and ended up resting for the entirety of the fourth quarter. That’s always some needed rest for a player that’s on the floor as much as her.

Four Cyclones finished the game in double figures, including Morgan Kane’s 17-point performance that matched her career-high.

One of the loudest moments from the crowd came when Iowa State had the it locked up and Kane made a three, skipping down the floor celebrating the big make.

It was a sign of the moxie that this team had in its wins against Texas and Baylor.

“Any time you’re able to win a Big 12 game, it’s huge,” Emily Ryan said. “We really fed off our crowd and their energy tonight.”

Iowa State had no issues putting TCU away and its goals remain to perform to that level in every game it plays. Saturday was a reminder of how this team can perform and how it will need to play in the postseason.

“Every team now probably can say they know their identity,” Fennelly said. “We have seven kids that are going to play – for the most part… we’re completely undersized, but we’re smart and we’re skilled. If we do the things that we know we can do, then we can compete and I think we’ve done that in the last four games.”

With two more to go in the season, all anyone expects for this group is to play ball.