DES MOINES – Head Coach Steve Williamson scored his 100th career victory as the Iowa Wesleyan College women’s basketball team opened its 2009-10 season with a 78-71 win over Dana (Neb.) College Friday night at the Grand View University Classic.
The Tigers got 16 points from Anna Jones (So.-Cornell, Ill.) and in all had four players score in double figures. IWC opened up an 18-point halftime lead but still had to survive a late push by the Vikings, who cut the margin as low as four points in the final minute.
Wesleyan trailed just once in the game at 4-2 in the early going. The Tigers shot 58.6% in the first half, making 17 of 29 shots led by Jones, who scored 11 points in the first 20 minutes. IWC built a double-digit lead midway through the half and led 49-31 at halftime.
The Vikings (0-3 overall) opened the second half with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 49-40, setting the tone for how the final 20 minutes would play out. The Tigers built solid leads several times only to see Dana cut the deficit back to single digits on every occasion.
Wesleyan followed the Viking run with eight points of its own, including four points from Sheray Brown (Jr.-Detroit, Mich.) before Dana got back within nine points again. The Tigers went back ahead by 14 on two occasions, the second after two free throws by Lindsee Bachicha (Jr.-Brighton, Colo.) making it 68-54 with 5:24 left. Dana would not go away, though, and cut the lead to 73-69 with 31 seconds remaining before Melanie McCreight (Jr.-Winfield, Iowa) made four straight free throws to salt the game away.
McCreight scored 11 points in the game while Bachicha and Jill Ginder (Jr.-Olney, Ill.) both had 10 points each. Jones and Jessi Beachey (Jr.-Fisher, Ill.) both had six rebounds to lead the team. Williamson’s win came in the opening game of his sixth season as the Tiger head coach, and he now has a 100-60 record at Iowa Wesleyan.
IWC shot 42.6% for the game, making 23 of 54 shots including an icy 25% (6-for-24) in the second half. The Tigers made 28 of 32 (87.5%) free throw tries, though, and out-rebounded the Vikings 38-27.
Trisha Trotter led Dana with 18 points. The Vikings shot 37.1% (23 of 62) but stayed in the game by making 21 of 24 free throws (87.5%).
Wesleyan will conclude its play in the Grand View Classic on Saturday when it faces Midland Lutheran (Neb.) College at 2 p.m. The Warriors lost to host Grand View 79-54 in the other game Friday night.
Box score IWC 78 Dana 71