AMES, Iowa (AP)Ashley Joens had 28 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, and the No. 8 Iowa State women opened the season with a 87-54 rout of Cleveland State on Monday.
Joens, a preseason All-American, nearly recorded a double-double in the first half with 24 points and nine boards. She has 50 career double-doubles.
The entire Cleveland State roster had a combined 20 points at halftime.
Stephanie Soares added 15 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks for the Cyclones (1-0). Denae Fritz contributed nine points and 10 rebounds.
”It’s just fun to get out there and actually play,” Joens said. ”You can talk the talk, but we’ve got to be able to walk the walk. Just getting out there and being able to play felt good.
”I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without my teammates, coach Fennelly,” Joens said. ”My teammates get rebounds, get me the ball when I’m open. It’s a team effort.”
Iowa State held the Vikings (0-1) to 26.2% shooting and forced 19 turnovers.
Gabriella Smith led Cleveland State with 16 points and Brittni Moore added nine.
”They’re a special basketball team,” Cleveland State coach Chris Kielsmeier said of the Cyclones. ”What’s their weaknesses? Where can you try to exploit them? We knew coming in this was a really difficult matchup.”
The Cyclones jumped to a 21-6 lead with 4 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter and owned a 60-20 advantage early in the third.
”The first half, I thought we were as efficient on the floor as we could ask,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said.
Iowa State may be even better than last season, when the Cyclones won a school-record 28 games and advanced to their first Sweet 16 since 2010. The 6-foot-6 Soares, a two-time NAIA Division I player of the year, is a key addition.
Iowa State hosts Southern on Thursday, before making its first road trip to in-state rival Northern Iowa on Nov. 16.
Cleveland State plays three of its first four on the road, with the lone home date coming Saturday at Hofstra.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25