DAVENPORT – Jessi Beachey (Jr.-Fisher, Ill.) scored 23 points to lead for starters scoring in double figures and the #14 ranked Iowa Wesleyan College women’s basketball team showed road toughness in an 80-68 win over St. Ambrose University Wednesday night at Lee Lohman Arena.
The Tigers out-rebounded the Queen Bees 56-29, led by Sheray Brown (Jr.-Detroit, Mich.) hauling down 16 boards, and also held SAU to 30.4% shooting. IWC won for the 16th time in its last 17 games and retained its lead in the Midwest Collegiate Conference standings by moving to 18-7 overall, 11-1 in conference.
Wesleyan came up with a strong defensive performance for the second time this season against St. Ambrose and swept the season series against the Queen Bees (19-7 overall, 7-5 MCC). IWC held SAU to 32.4% shooting and out-rebounded the Bees 56-36 in the two teams’ first meeting on Jan. 6, and the Tigers did even better in both categories this time.
IWC trailed by six points on two occasions in the opening four minutes as St. Ambrose came out making four of its first six shots. The Tigers settled down, though, taking the lead when Melanie McCreight (Jr.-Winfield, Iowa) hit a three-pointer making it 13-11 with 12:42 left in the first half.
Wesleyan would never trail again the rest of the way. The Tigers used a 12-0 run late in the first half to go ahead by 16 at 37-21, and went into halftime with a 41-30 lead. McCreight hit four three-pointers and Angela Brinkmeyer (Sr.-Hubbard, Iowa) added a pair of triples, and IWC out-rebounded the Bees 28-14 in the first 20 minutes.
St. Ambrose briefly cut the lead to nine early in the second half, but the Tigers seized control with another 12-0 run. Brown asserted dominance on the boards with 12 rebounds in the second half alone, and McCreight’s fifth three-pointer of the game made it 57-36 with 12:07 to go.
IWC would lead by as many as 22 at 63-41 with 8:09 to play. The Queen Bees made a run late by heating up from three-point range. The nation’s leaders in three-pointers made per game, averaging 10 per game, the Bees finished with 12 makes behind the arc, including five by Jenny Clark in the second half.
St. Ambrose cut the deficit to 11 points on three occasions in the final four minutes but got no closer as Wesleyan closed the game out at the free throw line. The Tigers hit their final eight free throws over the final 3:22, finishing 21 of 25 from the line for the game (84.0%).
Beachey was 9 of 16 from the field and added eight rebounds. McCreight hit five three-pointers in all and also had seven rebounds and four assists. Jill Ginder (Jr.-Olney, Ill.) added 13 points and also did a terrific job defensively against SAU star Ali Dolphin, who shot just 2-for-19 and scored nine points. Brown also added 11 points with her 16 rebounds and Anna Jones (So.-Cornell, Ill.) had six assists.
The Tigers shot 46.4% from the field, making 26 of 56 field goal attempts, and also made 7 of 18 three-point tries (38.9%). IWC also held St. Ambrose to 21 of 69 shooting.
Clark and Megan Cash both scored 21 points for the Queen Bees. The two combined to make 10 of 25 three-point tries, and as a team SAU made 12 of 36 three-point attempts.
Iowa Wesleyan continues a difficult stretch of games on Saturday when it hosts Mount Mercy College. Game time at Ruble Arena is 1 p.m. The Mustangs thus far are the only team to defeat the Tigers in MCC play, handing IWC a 58-50 defeat in Cedar Rapids on Jan. 9. 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; firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
Box score #14 IWC 80 SAU 68