SIOUX CITY – Alicia Statler tallied 32 points and 14 rebounds and scored the go-ahead basket with 38 seconds left and Hastings (Neb.) College defeated the Iowa Wesleyan College women’s basketball team 69-64 in a battle between ranked teams at the Morningside College Classic Friday night.
Statler scored 22 points in the second half alone, including the Broncos’ final eight points of the game, and the #21 ranked team defeated the 12th-ranked Tigers in a game featuring two teams rated in the NAIA Division II Preseason Top 25 Coaches’ Poll. Hastings moved to 2-1 while IWC dropped to 1-1 on the season, with a tough date against #5 ranked Morningside on tap for Saturday.
The Tigers led almost the entire second half and had a nine-point lead with 7:02 left in the game after Sheray Brown (Sr.-Detroit, Mich.) scored following a pair of three-pointers by Adilene Villalobos (Jr.-Tucson, Ariz.) to cap an 8-0 run.
The Broncos enjoyed a huge advantage inside in the game, though, out-rebounding Wesleyan 49-28 and enjoying a 44-28 lead in points in the paint, and they exploited that in the final seven minutes. Statler, a 6-1 post player, scored 14 of her points in the final 5:40, and her two free throws with 1:04 left gave Hastings a 63-62 lead, its first lead since very early in the second half.
Abby Brend (Jr.-Ogden, Iowa) hit a pair of free throws with 54 seconds left to give IWC the lead back, but Statler scored again with 38 seconds left to put Hastings up 65-64. Melanie McCreight (Sr.-Winfield, Iowa) then missed two three-pointers in the final 22 seconds, and the Broncos wrapped up up with four free throws in the final 16 seconds.
The Tigers stayed in the game against their bigger opponent by forcing 24 turnovers while turning it over just 13 times. Wesleyan had 13 steals in the game, but shot just 35%, making 21 of 60 shots, including six of 16 three-point tries.
Brown paced the Tigers with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Anna Jones (Jr.-Cornell, Ill.) also added a double-double with 11 points and ten rebounds as well as six assists. Jill Ginder (Sr.-Olney, Ill.) also added 12 points before fouling out with just over a minute left in the game.
Statler was the only Hastings player to score in double figures. The Broncos, members of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, shot 45.8% (27-for-59), including 52% in the second half (13-for-25).
Box score #21 Hastings 69 #12 IWC 64