Iowa State forward Ashley Joens will return to the lineup for the No. 7 Cyclones when they face No. 15 Baylor on Sunday in Waco, Texas.
Cyclones head coach Bill Fennelly told the Des Moines Register on Friday that Joens had returned to practice and would be available on Sunday.
“We’ll start with the obvious. Ashley Joens will be at practice today. So, she’s back. So, we are done, right?” Fennelly said, with Cyclones beat writer Tommy Birch noting that Fennelly said that with a smile on his face.
That’s a huge boost for the Cyclones, who lost their first conference game of the season on Wednesday to Texas, 66-48, after Joens, her younger sister Aubrey, and Denae Fritz were ruled out of the game due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Ashley Joens, who is one of the top players in the country and was named the country’s top power forward last season, leads the Cyclones with 20.1 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Without Joens against Texas, guards Emily Ryan and Lexi Donarski did most of the scoring.
Fennelly said Aubrey Joens had not cleared protocols yet and that her status for Sunday was unclear. Fritz is unlikely to return this season. She has not played in a game since November.
Getting Aubrey Jones back would certainly help the Cyclones, too. She is averaging 9.4 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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