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No. 5 Iowa State crosses past Michigan State 80-49 ^ North Carolina

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Stephanie Soares appears to have adjusted well to playing at a higher level of competition, which greatly benefits the state of Iowa.

Soares hit her season-high with 23 points and added 11 rebounds and six blocks as No. 5 Iowa State rolled past Michigan State 80-49 in Thursday night’s semifinals at the Phil Knight Invitational.

Soares, a 6-foot-6 transfer from The Master’s, where she was a two-time NAIA International of the Year, dominated inside, making 10 of 14 shots.

“She’s not there yet, but she hasn’t seen physicality at this level, but she’s getting better every day. Our strength and conditioning coach did a great job,” said Bill Fennelly, Iowa State Coach. “The child likes to play. She plays with a smile on her face and obviously has unique skills for women’s football.”

Emily Ryan added 17 points and eight assists, and the Cyclones continued on despite a poor shooting night from top scorer Ashley Joens, the Big 12 preseason player of the year. Joens averaged 25.5 points but only managed eight.