SIOUX CITY, IOWA – Anna Jones (So.-Cornell, Ill.) scored 21 points and Iowa Wesleyan College advanced to the second round of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Tournament for the second time in school history with a 79-68 win over Walsh (Ohio) University Thursday at the Tyson Events Center.
The third-seeded Tigers set a school record for wins in a season with their 26th win and improved to 26-7 overall in advancing to the Sweet 16. IWC moves on to a second round game on Friday against #2 seeded Jamestown (N.D.) University, to be played at 10:15 a.m.
Wesleyan overcame a slow start to defeat the #6 seed Walsh for the second time this season, as the Cavaliers of the American Mideast Conference finished the season at 24-10. The Tigers also are the second Midwest Collegiate Conference school to make the Sweet 16, joining Grand View University, which defeated Minot State (N.D.) University yesterday.
IWC was led by Jones, who controlled the game from her point guard position. The sophomore added six rebounds, six assists and five steals in addition to leading the team in scoring, playing all 40 minutes and helping the Tigers come back from an eight-point deficit early on.
Walsh came out hot and led 14-6 seven minutes into the game before the Tigers started to get in gear. IWC held the Cavaliers to just 14 points the rest of the half as Walsh cooled off shooting and Jones and Jill Ginder (Jr.-Olney, Ill.) started to get out in the open floor for layups. Sherry Zehner (Sr.-St. Louis, Mo.) also added six points and four rebounds off the bench and Wesleyan went to halftime with a 34-28 lead.
The Cavaliers again started strong in the second half, scoring eight quick points to take a 36-34 lead. The Tigers responded, though, and slowly started taking control. Jones and Ginder combined for 13 straight points and Walsh struggled shooting outside, on its way to a 4-for-21 performance from beyond the three-point arc.
Walsh was still within six points midway through the second half, but Lindsee Bachicha (Jr.-Brighton, Colo.) hit a big three-pointer and started a 7-0 run to put the Tigers ahead 59-46 with 7:53 to play. IWC’s lead would not fall below seven points the rest of the way, and the Tigers made 16 of 20 free throws in the second half, shooting 80% for the half and for the game overall (28-for-35).
Ginder complemented Jones with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Jessi Beachey (Jr.-Fisher, Ill.) added 15 points and eight rebounds and made 6 of 11 from the field. Sheray Brown (Jr.-Detroit, Mich.) also had eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Wesleyan shot 44.6% (25-for-56) and out-rebounded the Cavaliers 51-31, including a 29-14 advantage in the second half. The Tigers also shot 35 free throws to just 10 for Walsh.
IWC next will face Jamestown on Friday in the second meeting between the teams this season. The Jimmies snapped Wesleyan’s 25-game homecourt winning streak in November, defeating the Tigers 83-77 in Mount Pleasant on Nov. 27. Friday's game will be available to listen to on KILJ 105.5 FM or www.kilj.com, or to watch on a pay-per-view basis at www.watchnaia.com.
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 #3 IWC 79 #6 Walsh 68
NAIA Division II WBB Tournament Bracket & Info