MOUNT PLEASANT – Iowa Wesleyan College opened the game on a 19-2 run and never let Grand View University into the game in a 67-51 win over the Vikings Wednesday night at Ruble Arena.
The Tigers rolled in the showdown between two teams that came into the game tied for the top spot in the Midwest Collegiate Conference. IWC led by as many as 26 points in the first half alone and pulled one game ahead of Grand View in the MCC standings. Wesleyan improved to 12-2 in the conference (17-9 overall) and is one-half game ahead of Mount Mercy (11-2 in conference) and one game ahead of GVU (11-3 in conference).
IWC got 23 points from Heather Larson (Jr.-Canton, Ill.) and 17 from Ali DeVries (Jr.-Bellevue, Iowa), including five three-pointers apiece from both. Larson hit four three-pointers in the first half alone, including three of the Tigers’ five triples in the first 6:12 of the game when Wesleyan blew out to the early 17-point lead.
The Tigers eventually stretched the margin to 34-8 at one point in the first half and led 34-14 at halftime. Any worries of a Grand View comeback were calmed when IWC hit five more three-pointers in the first 7:51 of the second half, the last coming from DeVries at the 12:09 mark to make it 56-28. Wesleyan cruised home the rest of the way, with the Vikings not getting the margin inside 20 points again until the final minute.
Wesleyan harassed Grand View into 33.9% shooting for the game (21-for-62), including 19.2% shooting in the first half when the Vikings hit just five of 26 shots. GVU also hit just three of 20 three-point tries (15.0%), and the Tigers also out-rebounded the guests 43-29.
The Tigers shot 44.9% for the game, hitting 22 of 49 field goal attempts, and were a robust 11-for-22 from three-point range. Larson and DeVries were the only players to score in double figures, while Rachel Mitchell (Sr.-Des Moines, Iowa) added seven points and recorded game honors in a pair of categories with 12 rebounds and eight assists. Anna Jones (Fr.-Cornell, Ill.) added eight points, five assists and three steals off the bench.
Grand View dropped to 20-8 overall. The Vikings were led by Jodi Nikkel with 13 points and nine rebounds. The Tigers and Vikings split their season series, with IWC gaining revenge after a 65-49 loss at GVU Jan. 14.
Wesleyan now gets ready for its final home game of the regular season Saturday against Viterbo (Wis.) University. It will be Senior Day for five Tiger seniors, with game time at Ruble Arena set for 1 p.m. IWC has two games left in its regular season before the MCC Tournament, which the Tigers will open at home Feb. 26 against an opponent to be determined.
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 IWC 67 GVU 51