Women's Basketball, WVU Sports

Iowa State runs past short-handed West Virginia in Big 12 opener

AMES, Iowa — Ashley Joens poured in 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as No. 14 Iowa State rolled to an 88-72 victory over West Virginia on Sunday in a Big 12 Conference opener.

Joens buried 9 of 16 shots from the floor and 9 of 9 at the free-throw line for the Cyclones (12-1), who have won five straight games. It was Joens seventh double-double of the season and the 38th of her career.

KK Deans scored 17 points to top the Mountaineers (7-4), but she made just 4 of 16 shots including 1 of 7 from 3-point range.


WVU (7-4) played the game without four key players.

Jasmine Carson, Blessing Ejiofor and Esmery Martinez were held out due to illness, while senior forward Kari Niblack was out with an injury.

Niblack and Martinez are starters. Martinez leads the Mountaineers in rebounding at 8.2 boards per game and is also the team’s second-leading scorer. Niblack averages 6.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Carson is one of WVU’s top players off the bench. The school did not specify if the illnesses were COVID-19 related.

A’riana Gray finished with season highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Yemiyah Morris scored 14 on 5-of-7 shooting.

Iowa State opened the game on a 10-4 run, while the Mountaineers got a score from both Morris and senior guard Madisen Smith. WVU trailed the Cyclones, 13-4, at the first media timeout and then turned that into a 48-30 halftime lead.

WVU had a small 4-0 run to start the second half, but Iowa State’s offense could not be stopped. The Cyclones’ largest lead of 24 came with 38 seconds left in the third quarter.

Emily Ryan finished with 10 points and a personal best 16 assists for her second straight double-double for Iowa State.
Ryan’s assist total matched the school record set by Lyndsey Medders in 2005 against IPFW. Beatriz Jordão and Lexi Donarski scored 14 apiece. Morgan Kane added 10 points off the bench.

The Cyclones hit four 3-pointers and led 22-10 after one quarter. Kane scored six in the second quarter as Iowa State took a 48-30 lead into intermission and never looked back.

Iowa State returns to action on Wednesday at Oklahoma. West Virginia’s next game with Kansas was postponed because of COVID-19 protocols, so the Mountaineers won’t play again until they host Kansas State in their Big 12 home opener on Jan. 8.