KANSAS CITY, MO. – The Iowa Wesleyan College women’s basketball team has moved back into the national rankings, coming in 23rd in the NAIA Division II national coaches’ poll released Monday afternoon by the NAIA.
The Tigers join the rankings after receiving 107 points in this week’s poll. IWC is ranked for the second time this season after previously being ranked for one week in January, and it is the Tigers’ highest ranking this season.
Wesleyan moved into the polls on the strength of clinching the Midwest Collegiate Conference regular season championship Saturday with a 68-63 win over Waldorf College. The Tigers finished 14-2 in the MCC in the regular season and have won nine of their last 10 games to improve to 19-9 overall this year.
In those 10 games the Tigers have averaged 75.4 points and are shooting 47.2%, including 40.1% from three-point range. IWC has had five players averaging over 10 points per game during that time and has outscored opponents by an average of 11.4 points per game.
The Tigers moved into the polls after last week being the first team just outside the top 25, coming in 26th in the Feb. 16 rating, Wesleyan has played one of the tougher schedules in the NAIA this year, as four of IWC’s nine losses have come to teams ranked in the top eight in this week’s poll. The Tigers lost to top-ranked and undefeated Morningside College in December and also in November had two losses to 5th ranked Sterling (Kan.) College and a loss at #8 Concordia (Neb.) University.
IWC is the only MCC team ranked currently, but a pair of conference schools are not far behind the Tigers in joining the top 25. Grand View University picked up 30 points this week to come in 29th in the rankings, while Mount Mercy College received seven votes and is tied for 33rd this week. Both teams finished one game behind the Tigers in the MCC regular season standings.
With its second MCC regular season title in four years, the Tigers clinched the top seed in the conference tournament and have home court advantage throughout the tourney. The Tigers will open their tourney play Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Ruble Arena against either eighth-seeded Clarke College or ninth seed William Penn University. The MCC tourney semifinals will then take place Saturday at 2 p.m., with the championship game Monday night at 7 p.m. The winner of the MCC Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NAIA Division II National Tournament to be played March 11-17 in Sioux City.
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.
Full NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Coaches Poll here