Despite earning a 20-point victory over the Texas Southern Tigers on Tuesday, Iowa State struggled offensively in the first half, only scoring 31 points and leading by just five points at halftime.
However, Iowa State scored 48 points in the second half to defeat the Tigers 79-59 at Hilton Coliseum.
What led the Cyclones to shake off its poor first half was a historic performance by sophomore forward Ashley Joens, who became the first Cyclone to score 30 points and grab 20 rebounds in a game.
Joens led the Cyclones in scoring for the entire game with 30 points, with junior center Kristin Scott scoring the second most with 18 points.
Despite scoring 30 points, Joens struggled in the first quarter, where Texas Southern held her scoreless. She shot zero for eight from the field.
“Most players, they would’ve shut it down [at that point] and said 'today is not my day', but she didn’t,” Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said. “The kid (Ashley) knows how to score and she’s a hard cover cause she’s got some funk to her game.”
Joens shot much better in the second quarter, as she scored 11 points on four for five shooting from the field, two for three from beyond the three-point line and one for two from the free-throw line.
Joens wasn’t efficient from the field against the Tigers in the first half as she shot four for 13. But once the second half began, she attacked the basket more often, which paid dividends.
In the second half, Joens only made two shots, which accounted for four of her 19 points in the second half. The rest of her 15 points came from the free-throw line.
She shot 15-16 from the free-throw line in the second half and 16-18 for the entire game.
“My teammates got me the ball when I was open and I went at them (the Tigers) cause I thought they could foul me a lot,” Joens said.
Joens also grabbed 20 rebounds in the game with ten in each half. 30 points and 20 rebounds are both career highs for Joens.
A strong performance is what the Cyclones needed from her. The Cyclones, excluding Joens, only accounted for 49 points.
As a team, the Cyclones shot 39 percent from the floor on 22 for 56 shooting, six for 18 from beyond the three-point line and 29 for 39 from the free-throw line against the Tigers.
The first quarter was the Cyclones' worst of the night, as they shot 3-for-18 from the field in the quarter and trailed 12-11 at the end of the first quarter.
“There’s no excuse for that, we had to get warmed up,” Scott said. “We all just needed to keep shooting and we needed to do that in order to win.”
To go along with the pedestrian shooting, the Cyclones also struggled taking care of the ball.
The Tigers forced the Cyclones to commit 21 turnovers, eight of which came in the first quarter.
“They (Texas Southern) played very physical defensively and we had a tough time handling the ball,” Fennelly said.
Iowa State cleaned up its play a bit after the first quarter, committing 4.3 turnovers per quarter in the remainder of the game.
After being held to 11 points in the first quarter, Iowa State scored 68 points the rest of the game and defeated Texas Southern to move to 2-1 on the season.
The Cyclones' next game is on the road as they face the North Dakota State Bison at 7 p.m. on Friday in Fargo, North Dakota.