MANHATTAN, Kansas – Iowa State (11-5, 7-2 Big 12) got head coach Bill Fennelly his 700th career win with a gritty 62-60 victory over Kansas State (5-8, 0-6 Big 12) Thursday evening at Bramlage Coliseum. Fennelly is the 26th coach in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to reach 700 wins, and is one of 12 active DI women’s hoops coaches with 700 career victories.
Some strong runs of play saw Iowa State build up an 11-point lead in the second quarter, and a nine-point lead in the third. However, K-State hung tough and slowed down the game enough to give themselves a chance in the final minute. The Cyclones, as they have many times under Fennelly, iced the game away at the free throw line via 6-of-8 shooting from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
Leading the way was Ashley Joens, who notched her 11th-20-point game of the season with 22 points, and added eight rebounds. Kristin Scott got all 15 of her points in the first half and added six rebounds.
How It Happened
Kristin Scott was a boost to the Cyclone offense early, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and getting a put back to match her scoring output combined across ISU’s last two games in the first five minutes. However, after taking the lead with the first basket of the game, the visitors did not get it back the rest of the period, hampered by five turnovers as K-State took a 17-15 lead to the second.
Scott took advantage of the absence of Wildcat star Ayoka Lee, who got two fouls in the first, to get the first five points of the second and put Iowa State back ahead 20-19. The Cyclones did well to control the boards, continuing to take advantage of Lee being stuck on the bench via 12 paint points to push the lead to double figures at 34-23 on a Rae Johnson 3-pointer. The home team was able to bring ISU back at the end of the half, scoring seven of the final eight points of the half to make it 37-32 at the break.
The K-State run continued to start the half, as the ‘Cats got the first five points, capped by a Sydney Goodson 3-pointer to tie it at 37-37. The Cyclones countered with a 9-0 run, capped by a Lexi Donarski 3-pointer, to restore the lead at 46-37. Lee took over to get K-State back into the contest, scoring nine during an 11-2 Wildcat run to bring the home team within a point, 51-50, heading to the fourth quarter.
Lee put K-State ahead at the line 52-51. Johnson hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 54s, but the teams traded empty possessions for over four minutes before Joens restored the ISU lead at the line at 56-54 with 1:06 to go. Lee and Joens traded lay-ins to make it 58-56 with 35 seconds left, but K-State blinked first, with Goodson’s pass intended for Lee sailing long. Donarski drained a pair of free throws, but it was cancelled out by another Lee lay-in with 13.4 seconds to play. Madison Wise made one-of-two at the line to make it 61-58 with 9.9 seconds left. K-State got a lay-in from Rachel Ranke with 4.1 seconds left to cut it to one. Donarski made one-of-two with 3.4 seconds to play, and Ranke’s 3-pointer from the left-wing at the buzzer was off the mark to give ISU the win.
Players of Note
Ashley Joens had an off-night from the field, shooting just 5-of-13, but made up for iat the line, by going 11-of-12 from the charity stripe. Her 22 points marked her 11th 20-plus point effort of the season, and she led iSU with eight rebounds.
Kristin Scott took advantage of Lee being stuck on the bench in the first half to load up, getting all 15 of her points in the first half. She also added six rebounds.
Iowa State returns to Hilton on Sunday to take on No. 9. Tip between the Cyclones and Lady Bears will be at 3 p.m.