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Iowa State’s Ashley Joens will return to Cyclones for fifth season

Joens (center) has started in every game for Iowa State since her freshman year. (Nirmalendu Majumdar/USA TODAY NETWORK)

Iowa State women’s basketball star Ashley Joens is passing on the WNBA draft to return for a fifth season with the Cyclones.

Joens, a senior who has started in every game for Iowa State since her freshman year, will take advantage of the extra season of eligibility awarded to athletes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 6-foot-1 wing has averaged 18.8 points and 8.6 rebounds in 126 career contests.

“This team is special,” Joens said in an announcement posted to her social media accounts. “We have more to accomplish, and I can’t wait to play another year with all of them!”

This season, Iowa State made a run to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2010, but the No. 3 seed’s run ended in a 76-68 loss to No. 10 seed Creighton last Friday.

The Cyclones set the program’s single-season record with 28 wins, and along the way Joens broke Angie Welle’s program record of 2,149 career points. Joens finished the season with 2,369 points, and she’ll be able to add to that lofty total in her fifth season.

Already, she has been named to the All-Big 12 First Team three times. She was also named a second-team All-American this season.

Iowa State will be well set for next season, as the team also will return its starting point guard in Emily Ryan and the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year in Lexi Donarski.