AMES – The No. 15 Iowa State women’s basketball team (1-0) was dominant in a 69-43 season-opening victory over Omaha (0-1) at Hilton Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon.

Junior Ashley Joens, a member of the Cheryl Miller Award Watch List, tallied a game-high 25 points, to go with seven rebounds.

Joens’ terrific effort came via a tidy 11-of-17 shooting performance, while adding two blocks, two steals and two assists in 25 minutes of action. Senior forward Kristin Scott joined Joens in double figures with 10 points and nine boards.

Four Cyclone freshmen made their collegiate debut on Wednesday, as Kylie Feuerbach, Emily Ryan and Lexi Donarski all started, while Aubrey Joens came off the bench to lead the quartet with seven points on the afternoon. Ryan posted a game-high seven assists in her first appearance as a Cyclone.

The win was the first for Jodi Steyer as ISU’s acting head coach, as Steyer has assumed the duties temporarily with head coach Bill Fennelly currently in quarantine protocol after being exposed to COVID-19.

HOW IT HAPPENED

It was a disjointed first quarter to open the season at Hilton Coliseum, as each team struggled to find an offensive rhythm. The teams combined for 12 turnovers and just nine made field goals in the opening stanza. However, the Cyclones jumped to a 14-7 advantage after 10 minutes.

Following four first-quarter points, star Cyclone junior Ashley Joens took over in the second period. The native of Iowa City, Iowa tallied 13 of ISU’s 19 points in the second quarter, shooting 6-of-8 from the field, to go with three rebounds and one assist. Kristin Scott chipped in five points in the quarter to extend the Cyclone advantage to 33-22 at the intermission.

The Iowa State offense continued to hum in the third quarter, putting up 22 points while Cyclones excelled at sharing the ball. Iowa State’s eight field goals in the quarter were scored by seven different players, as the Cardinal & Gold extended its lead to 54-31 with 10 minutes to play.

The Cyclones were able to cruise to victory in the fourth, as all 10 Cyclones that were available to play saw game action in the opener. In total, eight different Cyclones scored, including 21 combined bench points from the trio of Rae Johnson (8), Aubrey Joens (7) and Madison Wise (6).

PLAYERS OF NOTE

Ashley Joens opened her junior campaign with the eye-popping numbers Cyclone fans have become accustomed to seeing from her. She stuffed the stat sheet with 25 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals.

Kristin Scott flirted with a double-double in her senior season debut, putting up 10 points and nine rebounds to tie a team-high on the glass. She also had three assists and a block in 23 minutes of action.

COMING UP

The Cyclones hit the road this weekend to take on South Dakota State in Brookings, S.D. The game will tip off at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast live on MC22/ESPN3.

To reach Brian Rathjen, send correspondence to sports@ant-news.com or phone (712) 243-2624.

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