ISU and Kansas State had one of the games of the season earlier this year which resulted in the infamous Maggie Espenmiller-Mcgraw (MEW) game winning 3. As much fun as it was to watch that comeback and game winner, Cyclone fans can come to agreement that they don’t need that stress on their hearts again. Looking to avoid a repeat of such a tense affair, the Cyclones had Hilton on their side tonight.
The first half was tightly contested, due in large part to both teams struggling from behind the arc with only 5 made three pointers between both sides and a severe lack of free throws for both teams. The Wildcats game plan was evident early on, get the ball to Ayoka Lee, attempting to dump the ball down to her whenever possible. Iowa State did a great job of double teaming the Wooden award watch center and held Lee to just 4 points through 2 quarters and only 12 for the game. MEW reminded KState fans what happened the last time they met by sinking another buzzing beating 3 right before the half to give the Cyclones a 31-25 lead to end the half.
Iowa State did their best 2017 Golden State Warriors impression by absolutely exploding in the 3rd quarter. The long ball finally started to hit and their hard nose defense caused the Cyclone lead to increase from 6 to 20. The twister sisters 3rd quarter saw them bring in 24 points, just 1 shy of Kansas States entire first half total. After back to back 3 pointers to start the 4th quarter from Nyamer Diew and Emily Ryan, the nail was put into the coffin fairly early.
With two high profile players in the Big 12 on the floor tonight, Ashley Joens (who finished with an 11 point 12 rebound double double) and Ayoka Lee, the spotlight was stolen by Emily Ryan who was on triple double watch all night. Finishing with an impressive 15 points, 8 assists, and 6 boards along with 4 steals. Add in 15 more points from Lexi Donarski and 10 huge points off the bench from Nyamer Diew, you’ve got yourself all the elements for a huge Big 12 win for ISU.