Late Joens Heroics Take No. 24 ISU Past Oklahoma
Credit Source: Iowa State University Athletics
AMES, Iowa – Ashley Joens’ lay-in with 10.2 seconds left pushed No. 24 Iowa State (10-4, 6-1 Big 12) to a 64-63 win over a short-handed Oklahoma (4-6, 1-4 Big 12) Tuesday night at Hilton Coliseum. The Sooners, only dressing eight players, were in the lead for most of the second half and the entire fourth quarter until Joens’ deciding bucket. The Cyclone junior scored ISU’s final four points and drew a change that took away an OU possession, all in the final 30 seconds.
Joens led Iowa State with 32 points on 13-of-25 shooting, the most field goals she has made in a game in her ISU career. Her 16 rebounds were a season-high. Of her 32 points, 21 came in the first half. Lexi Donarski joined her in double figures with 11.
How It Happened
Despite only dressing eight players, the Sooners at Hilton on Tuesday were able to hit some early baskets, making the visitors’ first three 3-point attempts to help push ahead 11-6. The Cyclones battled back to 11-11 after a pair of Ashley Joens free throws, but the Sooners broke out a 7-0 run in under a minute to get ahead again, which would be a 20-13 lead after one.
The Cyclones went to the tried and trusted Joens early and often, as she was responsible for 11 of ISU’s first 14 points of the period to get back within one at 28-27 OU. Lexi Donarski hit a step-back 3-pointer to finally give the Cyclones their first lead at 30-28, with ISU eventually getting the run to 12-0 to move ahead 34-28. Consecutive 3-pointers by Taylor Robertson (two of her seven first-half 3-pointers) put the Sooners back ahead at 37-36, but Madison Wise banked in a trey of her own as time expired to restore the Cyclone lead at the break, 39-37.
Oklahoma got the first seven points of the half to retake the lead at 44-39. The Cyclones continued to roll with Joens, who scored five-straight to re-establish the ISU lead at 49-46. OU would not go away, as Mandy Simpson drove for a lay-in to put the visitors ahead again at 53-51 and took a 55-53 advantage into the fourth.
OU moved ahead by six at 59-53 as the Cyclones went scoreless for the first 2:50 of the final period. Donarski finally broke the ice with a 3-pointer, but the next five-plus minutes saw each team only add a pair to their respective totals, a stretch which the teams combine to go 2-of-21 from the field. Donarski laid one in with 2:08 to go to pull ISU within one, but Robertson put it back to three at the charity stripe at 63-60 with 26.6 to go. Joens laid one in to get back within one at 63-62 with 21.7 seconds left, and drew an offensive foul on the in-bound play to get ISU the ball back. Joens took it from there, driving for a lay-in with 10.2 seconds to go to put Iowa State ahead 64-63. OU got a pair of shots up, with Nevahe Tot meeting a lot of resistance inside, with the board skipping out to Tatum Veitenheimer, whose last-second heave was off-the-mark.
Players of Note
Ashley Joens’ 32 points featured the four most important in the final 30 seconds which helped push Iowa State to the victory. Her ninth career 30-point game saw her hit a career-high 13 field goals. She also had 16 rebounds for her 25th career double-double.
Iowa State is back in Hilton Coliseum on Saturday to take on Texas. Tip between the Cyclones and Longhorns will be at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.
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