MOUNT PLEASANT – Heather Larson (Jr.-Canton, Ill.) tied a school single game record with seven three-pointers and top seeded Iowa Wesleyan College handled William Penn University 81-56 in the Midwest Collegiate Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals Thursday night at Ruble Arena.
Larson hit seven three-pointers and scored 25 points, 20 coming in the first half as the 23rd-ranked (NAIA Division II coaches’ poll) Tigers built a big lead and advanced to the semifinals. IWC (now 20-9 overall) will face fourth-seeded St. Ambrose University Saturday at home at 2 p.m. after the Queen Bees defeated Waldorf College 83-64 on Thursday.
Wesleyan hit 12 three-pointers as a team, including nine in the first half as the Tigers ran out to a 43-23 halftime lead. Larson nearly outscored the Lady Statesmen by herself, hitting six three-pointers in the half, and the Tiger defense held Penn to 26.5% shooting in the first half.
IWC’s lead never slipped below double figures after Sherry Zehner (Jr.-St. Louis, Mo.) hit two free throws with 8:34 left in the first half for a 26-15 lead. The Tigers led by as many as 29 points in the second half and won their 23rd straight game at home while also clinching their fourth straight 20-win season.
Larson’s 25 points were a career high, and her seven three-pointers made tied a record set by Jodie Houchin on Jan. 18, 2003 and tied by current teammate Ali DeVries (Jr.-Bellevue, Iowa) on Nov. 17, 2007. Larson’s 15 three-point attempts also set a school record for most three-point tries in a single game.
Anna Jones (Fr.-Cornell, Ill.) was the only other IWC player to score in double figures, totaling 16 points off the bench. Jones also added five rebounds and four assists. Wesleyan also got significant bench contributions from Zehner (eight points) and Brittney Wilson (Sr.-Cedar Rapids, Iowa), who scored six points and added a career high 11 rebounds along with three steals.
IWC shot 39.4% for the game (26 of 66) but made 12 of 25 three-point attempts (48.0%). The Tigers also out-rebounded Penn 49-44 and held the Lady Statemen’s leading scorer Christa Subbert to just 11 points, nearly seven below her average. Janice Adams had 14 points and 15 rebounds to lead William Penn. The Lady Statesmen shot 30.3% for the game (20-for-66) and finished their season 10-22.
IWC now faces a St. Ambrose team it beat twice in the regular season. The Tigers won at SAU 68-55 on Jan. 7 and defeated the Queen Bees 82-75 at home on Feb. 4. Saturday’s game will be broadcast live in Mount Pleasant on KILJ Radio FM 105.5.
The top four seeds in the MCC Tournament all advanced Thursday, though #2 seed Grand View College received a scare from #7 Viterbo (Wis.) University before holding off the V-Hawks 45-44. In the other quarterfinal third seed Mount Mercy College defeated #6 Ashford University 90-65. Mount Mercy travels to Des Moines to face Grand View in Saturday’s other semifinal game.
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.
Box score #1 IWC 81 #9 WPU 56
MCC Tournament Bracket