Yet another chapter in the Iowa State/Baylor women’s basketball saga took place on Saturday and yet again it was a certified excellent game. A game in which neither side had more than a 2-possession lead. A game that went to double overtime after both teams had a chance to win the game with the final shot.
It wasn’t the cleanest of games by the Twister Sisters, but it was enough to go toe-to-toe with Baylor in Waco, and that’s all you can ask for sometimes. It was a relatively defensive game as neither team could eclipse 20 points in a single quarter, and neither team shot the ball particularly well, both under 37% from the floor. The one real edge the Cyclones found was their tried and true method of the past—the 3-point shot.
All 5 Cyclone starters made at least a pair of triples, some of which came at the most opportune of times. Most notably, an open look by Lexi Donarski with under 30 seconds to play in the first overtime to tie the game at 71, and another by Ashley Joens with 2:34 to go in the 2nd overtime to give Iowa State a 5-point lead. One they wouldn’t let go of for the remainder of the game.
They made the big shots when the Cyclones needed them the most. In fact, Donarski and Joens combined to score all but 2 of the 22 points scored by Iowa State in the pair of extra periods.
Though what may have been even bigger than the offensive takeover, was Donarski’s defense on the other side. She sealed the deal at the end of the 2nd overtime, poking free the Baylor inbound pass as Jaden Owens tried to leave the ball to not start the clock. Lexi poked it free, Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw deflected it away from Owens as she tried to recover it, and Ashley Joens collected the loose ball and iced the game from the charity stripe on the other end.
It was a much-needed win for the Cyclones to try and keep pace with Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State in the Big 12 standings, and was an incredible fight by the Cyclones as both Nyamer Diew and Morgan Kane (who both played quite well) fouled out of the game.
It was a gritty and gutsy performance by Iowa State to cap off their 2-0 weekend and potentially jump back into the Top 20 in the Top 25 polls.
The Twister Sisters will be back in action on February 22nd as they head to Stillwater to take on the Cowboys of Oklahoma State.