CANTON, MO. – Jill Ginder (Sr.-Olney, Ill.) and Melanie McCreight (Sr.-Winfield, Iowa) took turns carrying the scoring load and Iowa Wesleyan College took over early in defeating Culver-Stockton (Mo.) College 77-53 Tuesday night in a non-conference game.
The Tigers, ranked 15th in the latest NAIA Division II Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, opened the game on a 23-6 run and were in control throughout. Wesleyan led by as many as 30 points and improved to 6-3, while the homestanding Wildcats fell to 1-5.
IWC held Culver-Stockton to 22.2% shooting in the first half in building a 37-18 halftime lead. The Tigers got most of their points from Ginder, who scored 18 of her 21 points in the first half, and Abby Brend (Jr.-Ogden, Iowa), who scored all 12 of her points and added five rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
Wesleyan built a big early lead as Ginder scored 14 of the team’s first 23 points and the Tigers were disruptive on defense from the start. IWC piled up nine steals in the first half and took advantage of 14 Culver-Stockton turnovers while also harassing the Wildcats into 0-for-12 three-point shooting in the half.
Culver briefly cut the Tiger lead to 14 points early in the second half, but any hopes for a comeback were quickly dashed by a 12-0 IWC run. McCreight scored on a three-point play, Ginder hit a three-pointer and Anna Jones (Jr.-Cornell, Ill.) scored six points in the spurt, and the Wildcats never threatened again.
McCreight scored all 19 of her points in the second half, rebounding from an ice-cold 0-for-9 shooting performance in the first half to make all seven of her shots in the second half. Jones also helped with the scoring in the second half with 10 of her 12 points.
The Tigers shot 42.6% for the game (26 of 61) and made 18 of 22 free throws (81.8%). Sheray Brown (Sr.-Detroit, Mich.) led the Tigers in rebounding with seven boards, while McCreight, Brend and Jones all added six rebounds. Jones also added seven assists, nearly bettering her NAIA Division II-leading average of 7.4 assists per game.
Ginder also led Wesleyan with five steals, while Brend and Jones both added four steals. IWC finished the game with a season-high 18 steals among CSC’s 27 turnovers.
Bailey Owen came off the bench to score 17 points for the Wildcats, who shot 35.6% for the game (21-for-59). Rachel Larson led CSC with seven rebounds.
The Tigers now get ready to open Midwest Collegiate Conference play on Saturday against Viterbo (Wis.) University at 1 p.m. as part of a women’s/men’s doubleheader. A live broadcast will be available online at www.iwc.edu/onlinemedia.
Box score #15 IWC 77 CSC 53