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Iowa State Cyclones

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBAL: #9 Iowa State is 16-1 for first time in school history

Patrick Tarbox

STILLWATER, Oklahoma – For the first time in Iowa State women’s basketball history, the Cyclones have started the season 16-1. The No. 9 Cyclones (16-1, 5-0 Big 12) did it with a 74-60 win over Oklahoma State (6-8, 1-4 Big 12) Saturday afternoon at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Along with the historic 16-1 overall start, the Cyclones are 5-0 to start conference play for the sixth time in program history, all six coming under head coach Bill Fennelly. This is also the first time the Cyclones have won their first three conference road games since 1999-00.

Leading the way was Lexi Donarski, who had her fourth 20-point game of the season with 23 points, which included five 3-pointers. Morgan Kane was strong yet again, getting her second career double-double with 15 points and ten rebounds. Also in double figures were Emily Ryan (13) and Ashley Joens (12).

Lexi Donarski’s 3-pointer put ISU ahead 5-2, a lead the Cyclones would not relinquish the entire contest. Even with leading scorer Ashley Joens not getting her first points until 1:36 left in the first quarter, the Cyclones dominated the first period, going 9-of-17 (52.9 percent) from the field, including three 3-pointers. Morgan Kane continued her efficient performances, leading ISU with seven points on a 3-of-3 shooting first. ISU held the Cowgirls to 4-of-21 shooting in the period, leading 24-8 after one.

The Cyclone lead reached 19 at 33-14 before the Cowgirls could reel ISU back within 12 at 35-23. However, Donarski stepped up with back-t-back 3-pointers to re-up the ISU advantage to 18, helping guide the Cyclones to a 43-27 halftime lead.

After the break, the Cyclones got back to work, taking the lead to 20 at 55-35 on another Donarski 3-pointer. While the ISU offense did struggle in the third, going just 2-of-12 from the field (16.7 percent); but made up for it by going 11-of-12 (91.7 percent) from the free-throw line to hold a 60-46 lead heading into the final period.

Kane got a putback to end a nearly six-minute field goal slump for ISU early in the fourth, and Donarski followed that with a coast-to-coast pull-up 3-pointer to bring the Cyclone to lead back to 19 at 65-46. That was more than enough of a margin going forward, with the Cyclones able to take care of business and secure their ninth-straight victory.

On Wednesday night, the No. 9 Cyclones return to Hilton Coliseum to take on No. 13 Texas. The tip between ISU and UT will be at 6:30 p.m., with the game on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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