ISU women’s basketball drops to 4-0 with victory over Southern


Before the start of the season, Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly was adamant his starting lineup would change often as the Cyclones mingled and paired to find the right one. group, especially at the post office. He did it again on Sunday, revealing his fourth new lineup in Game 4 for Iowa State this season.

The results were mostly the same: another dominant victory.

The 16th-ranked Cyclones led from start to finish on Sunday and took a dominant 96-55 victory over Southern at the Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State improved to 4-0 on the season. This is the first 4-0 start for Iowa State since the 2018-19 team started with a 5-0 record. This team went 26-9, qualified for the Big 12 tournament title game and reached the NCAA tournament.

Big things could also be in store for this group of Cyclones which had four players scoring in double digits on Sunday. Aubrey Joens scored a high of 21 points and took nine rebounds. His sister Ashley added 16 points. Lexi Donarski scored with 16 points while Nyamer Diew finished with 13 for Iowa State who started another new lineup on Sunday.

“We know what lies ahead, but we are certainly proud of the way we have handled the start of the season,” said Fennelly. “I hope we have a lot of good things ahead of us.”

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The Cyclones seem to be heading in that direction. Iowa State, which opened the season with a victory over Omaha on Nov. 9, finished the second week of the season by beating South Dakota State, road rival Drake, and then the South Sunday. Southern, who arrived at the Hilton Coliseum with a 0-3 record, was no problem for Iowa State either, even with the Cyclones testing their fourth new lineup in their fourth game this season.

Emily Ryan, Lexi Donarski and Ashley Joens have become the mainstays of the roster this season. But on Sunday, Fennelly pitched Joens’ sister Aubrey for the second game in a row and gave post player Izzi Zingaro his first start. Aubrey Joens, who had a solid second game in a row, may have earned a starting spot for good. But the location after the game will continually change depending on who is playing the state of Iowa. That’s why Zingaro took the start on Sunday.

“We wanted to play in a certain area,” Fennelly said. “We didn’t play there a lot and we wanted to work on it. They (Southern) were a team which I thought was a bit more zone than some of the teams we played against.”

It worked for Iowa State which used a 7-0 first quarter streak and took a 19-6 lead. From there, the state of Iowa was operational. The Cyclones were leading 45-22 at halftime. After dominating Southern 25-15 in the third quarter, Iowa State took a 70-37 lead and ran the rest of the way. It was another sign that while Iowa State’s post-game and starting lineup may continue to change, the Cyclones have more than enough options.

“Anyone can go any night, which really makes it difficult for our opponents,” said Ashley Joens. “Knowing how to protect ourselves kind of keeps them out. We have post players who can score and rebound.”

Other changes could still happen. Transfer Beatriz Jordao, who was due to compete for a starting spot in the Iowa State player position, made her season debut after sustaining an injury that slowed the start of the season. Jordao finished with four points and three rebounds.

Now that she’s back, Iowa State’s starting lineup could change again. But after three wins in the week, Fennelly knows his system is working.

“(Sunday) was the end of a great week for us,” Fennelly said.

Tommy Birch, The Register’s featured sports company and reporter, has worked for the newspaper since 2008. He is the 2018 and 2020 Iowa Sports Writer of the Year. Contact him at [email protected] or 515-284-8468. Follow him on twitter @TommyBirch.


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