By Anthony Hanson
AMES – No. 11 ranked Iowa State women defeated Oklahoma State behind an exceptional offensive night.
Iowa State picked up its third straight win by a score of 76-58 heading into a week-long break. The Cyclones improved to 20-3 on the season and picked up another sweep of a Big 12 opponent.
Point guard Emily Ryan highlighted the night by scoring 18 points and shooting six of six from three, all in the first three quarters. Ryan recorded six rebounds and six assists from her role as primary ball-handler.
“I think one of the most improved players in the league is Emily Ryan,” Oklahoma State head coach Jim Littell said postgame. “You can tell she’s a kid that lives in the gym.”
Ryan limited turnovers to three in 37 minutes of being the floor general for the Cyclones.
“The comfort level of the way she [Ryan] manages this team is really something,” head coach Bill Fennelly said. “Every other kid on our team is better because of her.”
The Cyclones started Saturday’s contest with blistering offensive efficiency. In the first quarter, Iowa State shot 84 percent from the field and outscored Oklahoma State by 15 points.
“It [starting strong] was a big emphasis of ours,” Ryan said. “We just focus on taking what they gave us.”
Iowa State continued lights-out shooting in the second quarter. The Cyclones finished the first half shooting 62 percent from the field.
Emily Ryan, Lexi Donarski, and Ashley Joens all netted double digits in the scoring column after 20 minutes of play.
Oklahoma State’s leading scorer Lauren Fields connected three times from beyond the arc in the first half, scoring 14 points. At the break, Fields had doubled the scoring production of the next Cowgirl. Fields would finish with a game-high 19 points.
The Cyclone offensive barrage slightly tapered in the third frame. Iowa State’s shooters cooled off to shoot 39 percent in that quarter. The Cyclones, however, would still outscore the Cowgirls in the third and led 55-36 going into the fourth.
Battling foul trouble, Iowa State leading scorer Ashley Joens would only contribute 21 minutes of playing time. In a limited role, Joens managed to score 14 points on 10 field goal attempts.
Fennelly trusted the Iowa State squad to pick up the offensive slack. Lexi Donarski finished with 17 points while shooting a 41 percent clip and taking a game-high 17 attempts.
Morgan Kane also reached double figures and flirted with a double-double. The Iowa State forward grabbed seven rebounds and scored 11 points. Kane protected the lane in Iowa State’s four-guard lineup and got to the free-throw line eight times.
Transfer from Butler Nyamer Diew is gaining confidence on the offensive end and is being trusted with a bigger role. Since playing five minutes and scoring zero points against Kansas, Diew has played an average of 23 minutes in three games.
Playing 23 minutes Saturday evening, Diew contributed six points. Diew showed flashes of her raw talent by taking her defender off the dribble multiple times and exhibiting hustle for loose balls.
Iowa State will now rest several days, according to Fennelly, before competing next against TCU Feb 12.
By Anthony Hanson