MOUNT PLEASANT – Making a statement that it belongs with the top teams in the Midwest Collegiate Conference, the Iowa Wesleyan College women’s basketball team dominated St. Ambrose University 88-70 in a battle for the top spot in the MCC Wednesday night at Ruble Arena.
The Tigers won their ninth straight game by leading almost the entire way against a Queen Bees team ranked 14th in NAIA Division II. Wesleyan also won a matchup between teams previously unbeaten in conference play and improved to 4-0 in the MCC, 11-6 overall.
IWC held St. Ambrose (15-3 overall, 3-1 MCC) to 32.4% shooting (22-for-68) and out-rebounded the Bees 56-36. The Tigers also got key performances from a number of players, with four players scoring in double figures and one each reaching 10+ rebounds and assists.
Both teams worked through some early game chilly shooting before Wesleyan asserted control midway through the first half. The Tigers scored eight straight points for a 14-6 lead with 11:44 remaining in the first half and would never trail again. IWC pushed the lead to as many as 15 points late in the first half and went to halftime with a 39-26 lead, holding SAU to 27.3% shooting in the first 20 minutes.
The Queen Bees briefly closed within nine points by scoring the first four points of the second half before the Tigers went to work building the lead again. Wesleyan regained its double-digit edge and eventually blew it open as Angela Brinkmeyer (Sr.-Hubbard, Iowa) and Lindsee Bachicha (Jr.-Brighton, Colo.) hit three-pointers and Jessi Beachey (Jr.-Fisher, Ill.) scored inside to make it 59-40 with 13:12 left in the game and cap an 11-3 run.
St. Ambrose never got closer than 15 points the rest of the way, and IWC led by as many as 24 points when Beachey scored again inside to cap a 9-0 run and make it 72-48 with 6:44 left in the game. The Tigers defeated SAU for the fourth straight time in the series and picked up their first win in four games against ranked teams this year.
Beachey finished with 26 points, including 15 in the second half. Melanie McCreight (Jr.-Winfield, Iowa) also scored 21 points, igniting the Tigers with nine of her points early in the second half and scoring a season high despite playing just 19 minutes due to foul trouble.
Bachicha added 15 points off the bench and Sheray Brown (Jr.-Detroit, Mich.) also added 12 points in addition to pulling down a season-high 17 rebounds. Anna Jones (So.-Cornell, Ill.) also finished with 11 assists, and Wesleyan shot 46.4% for the game, making 32 of 69 field goal tries.
St. Ambrose was led by Jenny Clark, who scored 18 points but shot just 4 of 13. The Queen Bees made 12 of 35 three-point tries, scoring more than half of their baskets from behind the arc, but were frequently stifled by the Tigers’ changing defenses. In addition, SAU star Ali Dolphin, the reigning MCC Player of the Year, was limited to six points and played just 14 minutes before fouling out, and second-leading scorer Megan Cash made just 2 of 9 from the field in scoring nine points.
The Tigers will have little time to rest before another tough game Saturday when they face Mount Mercy College at 1 p.m. in Cedar Rapids. IWC defeated the Mustangs in the teams’ last meeting in February, the MCC Tournament championship game. Saturday's game will be broadcast live from the IWC Web site at www.iwc.edu/onlinemedia.
For more information regarding the IWC basketball programs or any of the Tiger athletic teams, contact sports information director Adam Glatczak (319-385-6306 phone; 319-385-6384 FAX; firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
Box score IWC 88 #14 SAU 70