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Mack and Joens crack back at each other in battle for conference supremacy

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Luke Lu[]Iowa State Athletic Communication - D5A_9481.jpg

Chiropractors in Aimes might be seeing an uptick in business.

Star forwards Natasha Mack of Oklahoma State and Ashley Joens of Iowa State put their team on their back Wednesday night.

ISU’s 90-80 victory over OSU was a high-powered matchup between two of the top teams in the Big 12. It also contained two of the best players in the conference, Mack and Joens, going back-and-forth with one another.

“Two really good players (who) have been good for a long time,” OSU coach Jim Littell said. “It’s not a surprise to anyone, they’re both great players and they’re both going to be professionals.”

Mack is the focal point of OSU’s offense and an elite defensive rim protector. Against the Cyclones, she had a career-high 34 points. She also added 13 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

Joens is the Big 12 conference’s leading scorer, averaging 23.9 points per game.

“(Joens) just scores a lot of different ways,” Littell said. “She is probably as physical in the post as anybody in the league and then can step outside and shoot the three. She’s good off the dribble and a 92% free throw shooter. She’s got the whole package.

Against the Cowgirls, Joens had 30 points and 15 rebounds. A monster stat line to be sure, but not quite as well-rounded of a performance as OSU got from its star player.

It was arguably the Cowgirls’ biggest test of the season so far, and although they weren’t able to make some key defensive stops at the end of the game to slow down the Cyclones, the game leaves no doubt that Mack can hang a stat line with the very best in the Big 12.

“There’s a reason why (Mack and Joens) put up the numbers they do, it’s cause they’re good players,” Littell said.

sports.ed@ocolly.com