After a late game collapse saw Iowa State lose in the Phil Knight tournament final against North Carolina, the Cyclones would look to get their season back on track against the winless SIU Edwardsville Cougars. If ISU wanted an easy path to get back into the W column, this would be the team to do it against.
Denae Fritz got the scoring started in the game with an early layup and, well, it was all Iowa State from there. Midway through the quarter an Emily Ryan three to go along with her seven first quarter points would stretch the lead to double digits. Overall the Cyclones played their game in the first quarter. They played solid defense, forced a few turnovers, shot the three and got to the free throw line ultimately leading ISU into the second quarter up 14-26.
This is where the game got out of hand for SIUE. The Twister Sisters dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Cougars 29-8. Lexi Donarski scored 8 out of her 12 second quarter points in the first two minutes of the second thanks to two layups and a triple. Like it has for most of the season, the free throw line was kind to ISU going a perfect 8/8 in the quarter. When you take all of that offensive production and add Stephanie Soares stifling defense by blocking multiple shots and gathering several steals, you can expect to have a productive 10 minutes of basketball. Iowa State’s effort would send them into the half up massively 55-22.
Iowa State wouldn’t quite dominate this quarter of play to the extent they did in the second, but they certainly didn’t let off the gas pedal. The first seven and a half minutes coming out of the break played host to a 17-2 run for the Cyclones, with six different players getting involved in the scoring. Back to back threes from SIUE’s Anna Blank and Ajulu Thatha would end up killing the run, but the damage was already done at that point. Iowa State up 78-32.
Coach Fennelly used the large ISU lead to allow the bench to get some work in. Shantavia Dawkins used those minutes to the best of her advantage, racking up 6 points in the fourth. Izzi Zingaro would continue to put the ball in basket like she did in the third quarter by hitting back to back jumpers. To put a stamp on the blowout victory, Mary Kate King drilled a last minute three pointer to give Iowa State a 93-43 victory.
Multiple reasons led to the Cyclones largest margin of victory so far this season. From Lexi Donarski’s game high 22 points, Stephanie Soares 4 blocks, or nearly being perfect from the stripe (18/19). What stood out on the box score was nearly every single Cyclone getting on the score sheet. Having a program that can extend leads this way to allow every player on the sideline a chance to get in to prove their ability to contribute will mean a lot going forward when those players are eventually called upon.