POINT LOOKOUT, MO. – Iowa Wesleyan College ran into some stout competition this weekend and lost a pair of games at the College of the Ozarks Coke Classic held near Branson, Mo.
The Tigers lost to NAIA Division I John Brown (Ark.) University 61-59 in their tourney opener on Friday. IWC then faced the host Bobcats and lost 74-57 as the Ozarks extended their homecourt winning streak to 74 games.
Wesleyan nearly came back from a 12-point halftime deficit in the opener, falling two points short despite a strong second half rally against a John Brown team from the tough Sooner Athletic Conference, one of the premier NAIA basketball conferences. The Tigers shot just 24% in the first half, but Anna Jones (So.-Cornell, Ill.) scored 18 points in the second half and IWC hit six three-pointers over the final 20 minutes.
Jones finished with 20 points against the Golden Eagles and also had five rebounds and a game-high six assists. Lindsee Bachicha (Jr.-Brighton, Colo.) came off the bench to add 16 points and Angela Brinkmeyer (Sr.-Hubbard, Iowa) also had eight points and a team-best eight rebounds off the bench.
The Tigers got solid games from Jones and Jessi Beachey (Jr.-Fisher, Ill.) against the College of the Ozarks, but otherwise struggled against the team ranked seventh in NAIA Division II. Beachey had 21 points, making 8 of 10 shots, and Jones added 13 points, but Wesleyan shot just 38.5% and was 0-for-8 from three-point range.
IWC also committed 23 turnovers against the Ozarks (5-0), which advanced to the NAIA Division II national semifinals last year. Jones was named to the all-tournament team for the weekend as Wesleyan dropped to 2-2 on the season.
The Tigers have another tough assignment next weekend with the Quincy (Ill.) University Tournament scheduled for Friday and Saturday. IWC opens against nationally ranked Quincy on Friday at 7 p.m. The Hawks are rated 24th in NCAA Division II. The Tigers then will face SW Baptist (Mo.) University or Maryville (Mo.) University on Saturday.
Box score JBU 61 IWC 59
Box score #7 CofO 74 IWC 57