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Texas women surge past depleted Iowa State for important Big 12 road victory

Tommy Birch
Des Moines Register
Iowa State forward Morgan Kane is pressured by Texas defenders Aaliyah Moore, left, and Audrey Warren as she drives to the basket during the fourth quarter of the Longhorns' 66-48 win Wednesday night in Ames, Iowa. It was the Cyclones' first Big 12 loss of the season.

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly sat at the postgame table Wednesday night, analyzing his team’s 66-48 loss to Texas. He outlined a number of reasons why his team suffered its first defeat in Big 12 play this season.

Fennelly credited Texas’ strong defense, pointed out the Cyclones' poor shooting and blamed their inability to find a third scorer.

But there was one notable factor he didn’t mention. Fennelly didn't want to blame the Cyclones' struggles on not having sisters Ashley and Aubrey Joens.

No. 7 Iowa State certainly missed them against No. 15 Texas. Ashley, a senior, is the Cyclone's leading scorer (20.3) and rebounder (9.5). Aubrey, a sophomore, has started most of the season and is averaging 9.4 points and 6.9 rebounds. Neither suited up for the game due to the Big 12's health and safety protocols.

The Cyclones saw their nine-game winning streak come to a halt.

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Texas' DeYona Gaston scored a team-high 14 points to lead the Longhorns (13-3, 3-2 Big 12). Gaston also matched a career-high five blocked shots and added five rebounds. Aaliyah Moore, Aliyah Matharu and Rori Harmon each had eight points. Matharu had a season-high seven rebounds and added five assists.

Texas guards Rori Harmon, left, and Joanne Allen-Taylor battle Iowa Stat guard Emily Ryan for a loose ball during the second half. The Longhorns outrebounded the Cyclones 36-22 and outscored them 26-12 in the paint.

Not having Ashley and Aubrey Joens was a major issue for the Cyclones (16-2, 5-1). And not having them certainly contributed to Iowa State's offensive trouble. But there were other problems.

Texas outrebounded Iowa State 36-22 and outscored the Cyclones 26-12 in the paint.

"We could sit here all day and make excuses for anything and everything," Fennelly said. "But that’s not the Iowa State way of doing things. That’s not the way we do things here. The kids that dressed and were ready to play, played. A lot of people go through it. That’s life. I’m not making excuses and or taking away from what Texas did.”

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Texas' defense kept the Cyclones from getting into any sort of rhythm. Iowa State, which was averaging 81.2 points per contest, had its worst game of the season. The Cyclones shot 27.9% from the field and 31.3% from 3-point range.

The turning point in the game was a 7-0 run by Texas to open the third quarter. 

"They knocked us out," Fennelly said.