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Big 12 Tournament Semis: Iowa State’s Ashley Joens makes it to 3,000-point mark

Ashley Joens of the Iowa State Cyclones reached megastar status with 3,000 career points. The Cyclones eliminated the No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners from the Big 12 Tournament at the semifinal stage.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament Semifinals - Oklahoma vs Iowa State
Ashley Joens
William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Ashley Joens had 22 points, reaching 3,000 for her career, and eight rebounds and teammates Lexi Donarski and Nyamer Diew were efficient in scoring 20 and 19 points, respectively, as the Iowa State Cyclones hung on to defeat the No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners 82-72 Saturday afternoon at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.

The Sooners cut it to six on a Madi Williams jumper at 4:24 remaining, but would get no closer. Joens answered with a layup at 3:52 and Diew hit a three at 3:33 to make it 75-64 Cyclones. Nevaeh Tot cut it back to eight with a triple at 3:12, but Emily Ryan (nine points, five rebounds, five assists, two blocks) canceled it out with her own tray at 2:28. Free throws from Donarski and Joens helped close things out down the stretch.

Iowa State (21-9, 11-7 Big 12) advances to play No. 15 Texas in the Big 12 Tournament championship game on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET (ESPN2). The Cyclones were a No. 6 seed in ESPN’s bracketology prior to Saturday; Oklahoma was a No. 5 seed and Texas was a No. 4 seed. No. 4 seeds and higher will host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament so there is a lot on the line in the title game.

Joens was an inefficient 2-of-10 from beyond the arc, but Donarski was 3-of-3 and Diew was 4-of-6. Joens was 6-of-6 at the charity stripe. Denae Fritz matched Ryan with nine points while adding seven boards and two steals.

Williams paced Oklahoma with 19 points to go along with five helpers and two rejections. NCAAW 3-point queen Taylor Robertson added eight points (2-of-8 from deep), five rebounds and seven assists, while Tot had 14 points and three helpers and Skylar Vann had 13 points in defeat.

Iowa State built a 13-point lead entering the fourth by winning the third 24-14. Donarski led the way with 11 points in the pivotal frame, including two threes in the first 2:57. Her other five in the third came on a 5-0 individual run that took the Cyclone lead from 11 to 16 at the 4:27 mark of the period.

Both teams attempted 15 free throws with Iowa State making 13 and Oklahoma making nine. The Cyclones won points of turnovers 18-9. Vann was 2-of-3 from distance and 5-of-6 from the field.