Women's Basketball

Ashley Joens named Big 12 Player of the Year, four Cyclones honored in awards

The following is a press release from Iowa State Athletics Communications:

AMES, Iowa – Ashley Joens has been named the 2022-23 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, highlighting the Cyclones’ honors in the Big 12 Postseason Awards announced on Monday. Joens, who was also a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection for the fourth time in her career, is the second player in Iowa State history to earn conference Player of the Year, joining 2019 Big 12 Player of the Year Bridget Carleton.

Also collecting honors on Monday was Emily Ryan (All-Big 12 Second Team), Lexi Donarski All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, Big 12 All-Defensive Team) and Denae Fritz (Big 12 All-Freshman Team).

For Joens, this was one of the few awards not in her expansive collection of honors during her Iowa State career, but has now been checked off the list. Joens leads the Big 12 in scoring at 21.0 points per game (21.9 ppg in league play) and ranks third in rebounding at 9.4 per game (9.6 in conference games). She has three games with at least 30 points, 16 with at least 20 and 13 double-doubles. Joens finished the season, going for at least 20 in ISU’s last six games, and posting four double-doubles in that run.ADVERTISING

Ryan earned All-Big 12 honors for a second-straight season after being on the All-Big 12 First Team last year. The junior point guard demonstrated her all-around game throughout the season, averaging 10.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game. She was a reliable shooter across all parts of the floor as well, splitting with a shooting line of .444/.375/.920.

Donarski became the first Cyclone to earn Big 12 All-Defensive Team multiple times, with her lockdown defense on the perimeter helping hold her primary assignment over 40 percent below their scoring output heading into the contest. On offense, she scored in double figures 19 times on the season, ranking third on the Cyclones at 12.1 points per game.

Fritz’s appearance on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team marks the fourth time in the last five years a Cyclone has appeared on the squad, as she becomes the fifth member of this current Iowa State team to have earned All-Freshman Team honors (Joens, Maggie Espenmiller-McGrwaw, Ryan and Donarski). Fritz averaged 8.8 points per game, but made a step up in Big 12 play to average 9.6 points per game with shooting splits of .418/.357/.897 against conference opponents.

The Cyclones begin the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship on Friday at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City against Baylor. Tip will be at 7:30 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.