Lexi Donarski offense v SDSU

Lexi Donarski sits and waits for the time to run out in the second quarter. Her team watches closely behind her from the bench as they play South Dakota State on Nov. 15.

A 20-point comeback effort from Massachusetts was cut short as Iowa State women’s basketball held on to a 76-71 victory on Sunday in the championship game of the Gulf Coast Showcase.

The opening quarter included poor shooting from both teams to start, but ultimately a handful of baskets from Ashley Joens gave the Cyclones the lead. Making six shots to just three from Massachusetts, Iowa State came out of the quarter with a 18-12 lead.

Both offenses began to heat up in the second quarter as a back-and-forth scoring battle resulted in a 33-23 Iowa State lead with four minutes to play in the first half.

The game changed during the final stretch of the half with a 13-1 Cyclone run, guiding the team to a 45-27 halftime lead. Ashley led the team in scoring with 13, while her sister Aubrey Joens finished right her with 12.

Just four Iowa State players finished the half with more than two points as Lexi Donarski finished the half with 10 points and Morgan Kane with eight.

Massachusetts came out hot in the third, outscoring Iowa State 15-6 through the first five minutes. By the end of the quarter, the Cyclone lead was cut to just nine points. Donarski scored 11 points in the third quarter, and the rest of her team contributed just six points.

The Iowa State lead continued to shrink into the fourth quarter, decreasing to just four with seven minutes to play. With a pair of major scoring droughts, the Cyclones led 69-68 with a little under three minutes to play in the game.

A late three from Ashley Joens helped the Cyclones to a four point lead, making the difference in the game. She would finish the game with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Donarski joined Ashley with 23 points of her own.

Iowa State will return to action for a road matchup with LSU at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

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