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No. 15 Iowa State claims in-state bragging rights and key resume win over No. 12 Iowa

The Iowa State Cyclones avenged last year's heartbreaking loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes thanks to their superstar, Ashley Joens, stepping up.

Syndication: The Des Moines Register
Ashley Joens (with ball)
Bryon Houlgrave/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ashley Joens outscored Caitlin Clark by one in their first collegiate meeting and tied her in their second meeting. If you consider that Clark’s seven rebounds and six assists in last year’s meeting roughly matched Joens’ 13 boards and one helper, it’s tough to say that Joens’ outplayed Clark in both matchups. But she did Wednesday night in this year’s meeting with 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists to Clark’s 26, seven and three. And she got the win this time too, as her No. 15 Iowa State Cyclones defeated Clark’s No. 12 Iowa Hawkeyes 77-70 at James H. Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

It was a two-possession game in favor of Iowa State from the 8:56 mark in the fourth on, negating a third-quarter comeback and lead for Iowa. A Clark layup with 16 seconds remaining cut the Hawkeyes’ deficit to four, but Joens went 3-of-4 from the line after that and Iowa failed to score again. A Gabbie Marshall triple with 3:04 to play had also cut it to four, but the Hawkeyes were unable to make a run.

The closest they got to making a run in the fourth was when Clark hit a signature deep three to cut it to four with seven minutes to go. When she’s making shots before the opposing team even starts thinking about settling in to play defense because she’s that far out, you know Iowa has the potential to gain serious momentum and go on a serious run. But give Lexi Donarski credit because she answered Clark’s deep trey with a triple from the right corner 17 seconds later and Clark missed a deep three nine seconds after that, killing the Iowa momentum.

Donarski finished 2-of-4 from downtown with 16 points, while Joens’ sister, Aubrey Joens (4-of-9 from downtown), matched her sister by also recording a double-double (12 points, 11 boards). Emily Ryan chipped in with nine points and had two steals turned fast break layups. She’s averaging 2.7 steals per game on the season and tied a program record with nine in Iowa State’s opener. Morgan Kane rounded out the Cyclones’ key contributors on Wednesday with nine points and seven boards.

The third quarter saw Iowa post Monika Czinano lead all scorers with 11 points as the Hawkeyes came back from down five entering the frame to lead by two three different times. But after the last instance, Iowa State went on an 8-2 run that featured Ryan’s second steal turned fast break layup and a three from Aubrey Joens that made it 57-51 Cyclones. Clark made a three with four seconds left before the fourth to cut it to three, but Iowa probably wasn't happy with a mere plus-2 advantage in the frame.

After an evenly matched first quarter, Iowa State led by as much as 12 in the second. Iowa’s largest lead was four, which occurred twice early in the first.

Czinano ended up with 13 points, four boards, a team-high five assists and two blocks. McKenna Warnock (11 points, eight boards, three assists, two blocks) and Kate Martin (nine points, 10 boards) were also key contributors in defeat. Martin was 3-of-5 from deep.

The Cyclones were at a slight disadvantage when it came to field goal and 3-point percentages, but they attempted 16 more free throws than the Hawkeyes and made 11 more. They also only turned the ball over eight times while forcing 13 miscues. They won fast break points 12-2.

This is Iowa State’s first ranked win of the season and means a lot after the team recently lost to then-unranked LSU, which is now No. 24. The Cyclones improved to 9-1 (0-0 Big 12).

Iowa was in a similar situation to Iowa State entering the contest, hoping to wash out the unsatisfying taste of a recent loss to then-unranked and now-No. 19 Duke. The Hawkeyes (5-2, 1-0 Big Ten) are still searching for their first ranked win.