MOUNT PLEASANT – Sheray Brown (Jr.-Detroit, Mich.) scored a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds and Iowa Wesleyan College used another stifling defensive effort to defeat Mount Mercy College 74-58 Saturday afternoon in a key Midwest Collegiate Conference game at Ruble Arena.
The 14th-ranked Tigers got even with the only team to beat them in conference play so far, building a 20-point halftime lead and coasting to their eighth straight win and 17th win in 18 games. IWC held the visitors to below 30% shooting for most of the game and led by as many as 28 points in the second half, improving to 19-7 overall, 12-1 in the MCC.
Wesleyan also effectively narrowed down the race for the MCC regular season title to two teams, as Mount Mercy dropped 3 ½ games behind the Tigers in the conference standings, falling to 8-4 in league play (16-10 overall). IWC’s win on Saturday, coupled with #21 Grand View University’s win at Ashford University, means Wednesday’s game between the Tigers and Grand View (11-2 in MCC) will be a battle for first in the conference. A win for Iowa Wesleyan would clinch at least a tie for the conference regular season title and would mean a regular season sweep of the Vikings, which would give the Tigers the top seed and homecourt advantage in the upcoming MCC Tournament.
On Saturday the Tigers held the upper hand almost from the start, building a 12-2 lead less than four minutes into the game and seeing the lead fall below double figures only once, at 13-5. IWC built a 17-point lead when Brown hit a three-pointer to make it 28-11 with 10:32 left in the first half, and the Tigers would later score the final nine points of the first half for a 46-26 halftime lead. Melanie McCreight (Jr.-Winfield, Iowa) all 14 of her points in the first half, and Wesleyan shot 51.6% (16-for-31) in the first half while holding the Mustangs to 29.0% (9-for-31) shooting.
IWC maintained and even built the lead in the second half, going ahead by as many as 28 points when Sherry Zehner (Sr.-St. Louis, Mo.) hit a jumper to make it 70-42 with 6:54 left. The Tigers would not score much the rest of the way, and Mount Mercy finished on a 16-4 run to make the score more respectable at the end.
Anna Jones (So.-Cornell, Ill.) led Wesleyan with a game-high 19 points. Jessi Beachey (Jr.-Fisher, Ill.) also had 10 points and seven rebounds and played just 16 minutes due to foul trouble. The Tigers cooled down from the floor in the second half and finished the game shooting 41.4%, but made 20 of 25 from the free throw line (80.0%). IWC also hit six three-pointers, including three by Brown, who finished 7 of 8 from the field for the game.
Shanda Novak led the Mustangs with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Mount Mercy, which defeated IWC 58-50 in the teams’ first meeting Jan. 9 in Cedar Rapids, became just the fourth team this season to out-rebound the Tigers, winning the battle of the boards 43-41. The Mustangs shot 32.3% for the game (20 of 62).
IWC’s huge game against Grand View on Wednesday will be at 5:30 p.m. on the GVU campus in Des Moines. 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 #14 IWC 74 MMC 58