MOUNT PLEASANT – Jessi Beachey (Jr.-Fisher, Ill.) and Melanie McCreight (Jr.-Winfield, Iowa) combined for 43 points and the 15th-ranked (NAIA Division II) Iowa Wesleyan College women’s basketball team bounced back from a slow start to defeat Clarke College 74-50 Thursday night in Midwest Collegiate Conference play.
The Tigers out-rebounded the Crusaders 49-23 and shot 50% in the second half, winning for the 14th time in 15 games and improving to 16-7 overall, 9-1 in the MCC. IWC also swept the regular season series against Clarke, which saw a three-game winning streak end and dropped to 6-18 overall, 3-7 in conference play.
Wesleyan never trailed against the shorthanded Crusaders, who had just seven players in uniform and were missing Casey Breitbach, the third-leading scorer in the MCC. The Tigers were unable to put Clarke away early, though, not building on an early 10-point lead just four minutes into the game. IWC led just 34-28 at halftime, committing 14 turnovers in the first half.
The Tigers quickly took over the game early in the second half with a 17-3 run out of halftime. Beachey scored the first nine points of the half and when Sherry Zehner (Sr.-St. Louis, Mo.) hit a short jumper in the lane Wesleyan’s lead was 51-31 with 13:10 left in the game.
IWC continued to wear away at the visitors the rest of the way, leading by as much as 31 points when Erin Karlsgodt (Sr.-Brainerd, Minn.) scored inside to make it 71-40 with 4:23 left, capping a string of seven straight made field goals by the Tigers. Wesleyan finished making 16 of 32 shots in the second half, completing the game shooting 45% (27-for-60).
Beachey finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds in just 21 minutes of play, while McCreight added 20 points and five rebounds, including 12 points in the first half. Zehner also chipped in 13 points and Anna Jones (So.-Cornell, Ill.) led the team with seven assists.
Wesleyan finished with 18 offensive rebounds and held the Crusaders to 36.5% shooting for the game (19-for-52). Joquetta Rolle led Clarke with 19 points and eight rebounds.
The Tigers are home again on Saturday, hosting Ashford University at 1 p.m. in MCC play. The team will be taking part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers and Think Pink initiatives, and IWC plans to wear pink uniforms for the occasion. An online audio broadcast will be available 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.
Box score #15 IWC 74 Clarke 50