Following a dominating win to kick off the new year on Sunday, No. 12 Iowa State was in Norman, Okla., on Wednesday for a top-25 conference matchup.
With each team sitting at 12-1 overall and 1-0 in the Big 12, this was about as important of a game you can ask for in the early portion of conference play.
After falling into an 8-0 hole early in the first quarter, the Cyclones ended the quarter on a 20-13 run that left them down 21-20 heading into the second. A big part of the strong finish was the fact that Iowa State got seven different players into the scoring column.
Knotted at 25 midway through the second quarter, an 11-0 Iowa State run helped to create some breathing room. Oklahoma was able to lower its deficit down to five, but a buzzer-beating layup by Ashley Joens gave the Cyclones a 41-34 halftime lead.
Early in the third, Joens picked up her third foul and headed to the bench. Iowa State was able to weather the storm, due in big part to Emily Ryan’s strong play at the point guard position.
Up by five with five minutes left in the third, the Cyclones closed the quarter on a 16-7 run that put them up 66-52 before the final 10 minutes.
The Sooners started the fourth on an 8-0 run that lowered their deficit to six, but Iowa State responded and built the lead back up to 13. Oklahoma was able to hang around but never built any sort of momentum, and the Cyclones came out on top 81-71.
Ryan led the team with a career-high 22 points while also dishing out eight assists. Joens scored 17 points and snatched 13 rebounds, and the post committee of Morgan Kane and Beatriz Jordão combined for 25 points and 13 rebounds.
Possibly the most important aspect of the game was that Joens and Lexi Donarski shot a combined 6-37 and the Cyclones still beat a top-25 conference opponent by double-digits on the road.
Iowa State moves to 13-1 overall and 2-0 in Big 12 play. Its next game will come against TCU on Saturday afternoon in Hilton Coliseum.