CLINTON – Freshman Anna Jones (Cornell, Ill.) scored 13 points off the bench in the second half and Iowa Wesleyan College came back from a nine-point second half deficit to defeat Ashford University 66-64 Saturday afternoon.
Jones helped spark a 14-0 second half spurt that dug the Tigers out of a big hole, and though Wesleyan was still challenged down the stretch, IWC held on to stay in first place in the Midwest Collegiate Conference and move to 10-1 in league play.
IWC also improved to 15-8 overall and won its fifth straight game, but the Tigers received all they could handle from the Saints, who dropped to 3-8 in the MCC and 9-16 overall. The teams swapped the lead 13 times and the score was also tied on 10 occasions.
Leading 29-28 after a close first half, Ashford came out of halftime on fire. The Saints made their first five shots and put the Tigers on the ropes, eventually building a 46-37 lead with 12:41 left in the game after a three-pointer by Kelly Fisher.
IWC came back with 14 straight points, the run capped by a lay-up by Jones making it 51-46 with 6:26 left in the game. The Saints refused to fold, though, and came back with seven straight points, taking a 53-51 lead with 5:21 left.
The teams then went back and forth for the next several minutes until Ali DeVries (Jr.-Bellevue, Iowa) hit two free throws for a 61-60 lead with 2:06 left. IWC got a stop on defense, and Heather Larson (Jr.-Canton, Ill.) hit a three-pointer on the next possession for a four-point lead.
Ashford got within two points on its next possession, but Wesleyan got single free throws by Jones and Rachel Mitchell (Sr.-Des Moines, Iowa) in the final three seconds to put the game away before a final lay-up by the Saints at the buzzer.
Brittany Okland (Sr.-Kelley, Iowa) had 18 points and made six of seven free throws to lead the scoring for IWC. Mitchell added 16 points, six rebounds and six assists while playing all 40 minutes.
Wesleyan shot 44.0% for the game, making 22 of 50 field goal attempts. The Saints shot a similar percentage, making 22 of 51 shots (43.1%). IWC posted a 30-25 rebounding advantage and hit 17 of 20 free throw attempts (85.0%).
The Tigers will be very happy to get back at home for their next game against St. Ambrose University on Wednesday night. Game time for IWC’s match at Ruble Arena against the Queen Bees will be 5:30 p.m.
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.