Hilton Coliseum is back in action after a fun Tuesday night of basketball from the men’s team, now it’s the Twister Sister’s turn. Iowa State took on a solid 12-4 Kansas State squad Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum.
No. 15 Iowa State is coming off a tough loss to Oklahoma in Norman 82-79. It didn’t help that 2 minutes into that game, Iowa State lost Senior center Stephanie Soares to a season-ending ACL tear. This news took a toll on the entire team and you could see it on the court. “Everyone was pretty shaken up,” said Coach Fennelly in post-game media Sunday night.
Wednesday night was the first test without Soares.
Coach Fennelly went with a starting lineup of Emily Ryan, Lexi Donarski, Denae Fritz, Ashley Joens, and Nyamer Diew. This was Diew’s first start of the season.
At the end of the first quarter, Iowa State led 18-15 thanks to some strong first-half shooting from Junior guard Lexi Donarski. The Cyclones moved the ball well on offense which led to a 17-10 lead. However, turnovers led to Kansas State creeping back into the game.
Donarski continued her strong shooting going into the half as Iowa State had a three-point cushion on the Wildcats 32-29. Donarski finished the half leading all scorers with 12 points and shot 4-6 from the field, all from three.
Opening the 3rd quarter, the Cyclones struggled for a bit, but eventually found their rhythm. The Cyclones made a nice run and Sophomore Denae Fritz was huge in that run. Fritz was doing a bit of everything, knocking down threes, cutting hard to the basket, getting to the rim with ease, and playing great defense. After three quarters, the Cyclones lead 51-45.
In the 4th quarter, the Cyclones pulled away with an 11-point lead thanks to Junior guard Emily Ryan and had a 57-46 lead going into the TV timeout. Nonetheless, Kansas State fought back and cut the lead to 61-54 with 3:30 left in the contest.
With 2:12 left to play, Ashley Joens hit a big three to put Iowa State up 65-56. This play basically iced the game. Iowa State beat Kansas State 67-56. Cyclones move onto 11-3 on the year and 3-1 in Big 12 play.
Emily Ryan led all categories and was only two assists away from a triple-double, with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists. Ashley Joens, Lexi Donarski, and Denae Fritz all poured in 14 points as well. Nyamer Diew had a solid first start of the year finishing with 8 points and 7 rebounds.
Iowa State’s next matchup is against Texas in Austin on Sunday, January 15th (4 pm, ESPN2). This next matchup will be another test to how this team will look like without Soares as Texas is notorious for their size.