SEWARD, NEB. – Sterling College scored the tying basket with four seconds left in regulation and went on to defeat the Iowa Wesleyan College women’s basketball team 53-45 in overtime Friday night in the Concordia University Cattle Classic.
The Tigers led almost the entire second half, but the Warriors held IWC to just five points in the final 10:55 of regulation and then outscored Wesleyan 15-7 in overtime. The result was a near-miss for the Tigers against a team ranked 11th in the NAIA Division II preseason coaches’ poll, while Sterling got its first win of the season and is now 1-2.
Defense won out as both teams shot poorly. IWC (1-1 overall) shot 30.4% in the game, making 17 of 56 shots, while the Warriors made just 20 of 71 shots. The percentages were especially icy in the second half, when Wesleyan shot 20% (4-for-20) and Sterling wasn’t much better, making only eight of 37 shots (21.6%).
The Warriors stayed in the game by out-rebounding the Tigers 27-18 in the second half. The Warriors heated up in overtime, making their first four shots and then converting six of their final seven free throws to salt the game away.
The Tigers trailed a good portion of the first half before closing out the half on a 15-4 run. Jennie Mitchell (Sr.-LaGrange, Ga.) hit a three-pointer in the final seconds of the half for a 25-20 lead going into the break. IWC pushed the lead to seven points on a number of occasions, but Sterling came back to tie at 34-34 with 4:51 left and then again just before the buzzer.
Megan Couch (Jr.-Mooresville, Ind.) led the Tigers with 12 points. Angela Brinkmeyer (Jr.-Hubbard, Iowa) had seven rebounds while Anna Jones (Fr.-Cornell, Ill.) had four steals.
Ashley Kraft led the Warriors with 15 points. Sterling won the battle of the boards with a 51-41 rebounding edge. Both teams committed a number of turnovers, with IWC turning it over 30 times and Sterling 26 times.
The Tigers next will face #7 ranked Concordia (Neb.) University on Saturday on the second day of the Cattle Classic. Concordia defeated Waldorf College 80-53 in Friday night’s second game. The IWC-Concordia game will start at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
For more information regarding the IWC women’s basketball program 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 ww.iwc.edu/athletics.