MOUNT PLEASANT – Ali DeVries (Jr.-Bellevue, Iowa) scored 16 points in the second half and Iowa Wesleyan College finished strong in defeating Ashford University 71-54 in Midwest Collegiate Conference play Saturday afternoon at Ruble Arena.
The Tigers shot 58.6% in the second half and outscored the Saints 19-2 over a stretch late to fight off a Saints team that hung around much of the game. IWC remained undefeated in the MCC at 3-0 and also improved to 8-7 overall.
Wesleyan needed a strong finish in the second half as the team was unable to sustain a large first half lead. IWC limited Ashford to seven points in the first 14 ½ minutes of the game and led 21-7 with 5:46 left in the half before the Saints started to come back. The Tigers scored just four more points the rest of the half and Ashford got within three points late in the half and went into halftime trailing by just five at 25-20.
Ashford scored the first basket after halftime to get back within three, but the Tigers then caught fire from outside. DeVries hit a pair of three-pointers and Megan Couch (Jr.-Mooresville, Ind.) added another in an 11-0 run that put Wesleyan up 36-22 with 16:02 left in the game.
The Saints refused to fold, though, and a jumper by Kim Fabry made it 48-42 with 8:10 left in the game. The Tigers answered by scoring 13 straight points, including two more three-pointers from DeVries and another by Heather Larson (Jr.-Canton, Ill.). IWC eventually led by as many as 23 points late in the game and made 17 of 29 shots in the second half, including six three-pointers.
DeVries finished with a game high 18 points. Rachel Mitchell (Sr.-Des Moines, Iowa) joined DeVries in double figures with 10 points and also had a season high 10 assists. Anna Jones (Fr.-Cornell, Ill.) also added 10 points off the bench and led the team with five steals. Wesleyan shot 43.5% for the game (27 of 62) and out-rebounded the Saints 41-37.
Kelly Fisher and Jessie Rosenow both scored 11 points to lead Ashford, which shot just 30.2% (16-for-53) but stayed in the game by making 15 of 20 free throws (75.0%). The Saints dropped to 7-10 overall, 1-2 in the MCC.
The Tigers next will go on the road to Davenport to face a test against defending conference champion St. Ambrose University. Game time Wednesday night at SAU will be 5:30 p.m. IWC will then be back home next Saturday to take on Mount Mercy College at 1 p.m. at Ruble Arena.
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.