MOUNT PLEASANT – Sherry Zehner (Sr.-St. Louis, Mo.) posted career highs with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a rare start and the Iowa Wesleyan College women’s basketball team stepped up in the absence of two key players to defeat nationally ranked Grand View University 71-57 Wednesday night at Ruble Arena.
The Tigers picked up their second home win over a ranked Midwest Collegiate Conference foe in a week, this time defeating a Viking team ranked #21 in the latest NAIA Division II coaches’ poll just seven days after knocking off then #14 St. Ambrose University. IWC won for the 10th time in its last 11 games and improved to 12-7 overall, 5-1 in conference play.
Wesleyan did so with a number of players coming through with big games when the team was without its leading scorer as well as its top scorer off the bench. Jessi Beachey (Jr.-Fisher, Ill.), the top scorer in the MCC, and Lindsee Bachicha (Jr.-Brighton, Colo.), typically the team’s “sixth man”, both were held out of the game due to nagging injuries, but in their place a number of teammates starred individually and as a team defensively against Grand View (14-6 overall, 4-2 MCC).
The effort was led by Zehner, who stepped into Beachey’s starting spot for the night. Making her first start of the year and just the second start of her two-year career, the senior scored 12 points in the first half as the Tigers took off to a 34-16 halftime lead. She finished the game 6-for-12 from the field and hit a pair of three-pointers in 32 minutes, easily posting career highs in points, rebounds and minutes played.
Also handling the load at separate times were Anna Jones (So.-Cornell, Ill.), Melanie McCreight (Jr.-Winfield, Iowa) and Sheray Brown (Jr.-Detroit, Mich.). Jones posted game highs with 19 points and five assists and also led IWC to an 18-4 edge in fast break points. McCreight had 15 points and a season-high nine rebounds and scored eight straight points in a span of 1:15 late in the game, helping the Tigers end any chances of a final GVU run. Brown added 13 points and nine rebounds and also had six steals, helping Wesleyan clamp down on the Vikings’ strong inside game.
IWC never trailed in the game, slowing pulling away in the first half and taking the 16-point halftime lead after holding Grand View to 24.1% shooting (7-for-29) in the opening 20 minutes. The Tigers led by as many as 20 points early in the second half and would hold a double-digit lead the rest of the way, as the closest the Vikings got was 10 points at 67-57 with 1:54 remaining.
Wesleyan shot 44.4% for the game (28 of 63) and held the Vikings to 33.3% shooting (23 of 69). IWC also held the Vikings to 23.1% from the three-point stripe (6-for-26) and out-rebounded GVU 47-39.
The Tigers remain tied for the top spot in the conference with St. Ambrose and now prepare to face Viterbo (Wis.) University on Saturday at 1 p.m. in another MCC battle at Ruble Arena. IWC will be broadcasting the game 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; email@example.com e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics. Midwest Collegiate Conference news, results and statistics at www.midwestcollegiateconference.com.
Box score IWC 71 #21 GVU 57