MOUNT PLEASANT – Playing one of its finest halves of the season, the Iowa Wesleyan College women’s basketball team blew open a close game in the second half to take a 79-58 win over Waldorf College Saturday afternoon in Midwest Collegiate Conference play at Ruble Arena.
The Tigers got their running game in gear in the second half, scoring 50 points while shooting 57.1% in the final 20 minutes. IWC also limited the Warriors to just 31.4% shooting in the second half in an impressive turnaround after a sluggish start found the Tigers down by 11 in the first half.
The Tigers’ second half surge came after a difficult start when Waldorf came out of the gates stronger and opened an 11-point lead in the early going. The Warriors led 18-7 after Megan Forster converted a lay-up with 9:53 left in the first half, but Wesleyan started to turn the game around soon after. The Tigers outscored Waldorf 14-1 over the next six-plus minutes, finally taking the lead at 21-19 after a three-pointer by Megan Couch (Jr.-Mooresville, Ind.).
IWC eventually took a two-point lead into halftime but took over in the second half, outscoring the Warriors 50-31. Couch scored a three-point play to push the lead to 40-31 with 15:59 to play, and just over a minute later the Tigers began a 13-2 run that concluded with Sherry Zehner (Jr.-St. Louis, Mo.) hitting a free throw to make it 53-35 with 11:48 left in the game. Wesleyan never led by less than 15 the rest of the way and pushed the margin to as many as 25 points in the final minutes, making 16 of 28 shots in the second half while limiting Waldorf to 11-for-35 shooting.
Heather Larson (Jr.-Canton, Ill.) had a big role in the Tigers’ comeback, scoring 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting and hitting six three-pointers. Anna Jones (Fr.-Cornell, Ill.) also had 14 points off the bench and added six steals, and Rachel Mitchell (Sr.-Des Moines, Iowa) was the third player to score in double figures with 10 points and also added team highs in assists (nine) and rebounds (seven).
IWC recovered from an icy shooting start to shoot 47.4% for the game (27 of 57), and the Tigers hit on nine of 20 three-point attempts (45.0%). The team’s 15 turnovers also tied IWC’s season low mark. With the win the Tigers improved to 12-8 overall and remained tied with Mount Mercy for first in the MCC with a 7-1 conference record.
Forster and Sarah Swanson both scored 15 points to lead the Warriors, which dropped to 10-12 overall, 5-3 in the MCC. Waldorf shot 33.9% for the game, making 20 of 59 field goal attempts. The Warriors also were just 3 for 18 from three-point range (16.7%).
IWC will be back on the court again Monday night, hosting William Penn University. Game time at Ruble Arena 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.