SIOUX CITY - Angela Gimeno hit a 10-foot jumper with five seconds left in overtime and Iowa Wesleyan College saw its season end in heartbreaking fashion in a 70-68 loss to Concordia (Ore.) University in the first round of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Tournament at the Tyson Events Center.
The Tigers overcame a 17-point first half deficit by putting together a barrage of three-pointers in the second half. IWC turned the game around and built a nine-point lead with less than two minutes left, but couldn’t hold on and saw its season end at 22-10 while Concordia (28-3) moved on to the Sweet 16 to face Dickinson State (N.D.) University.
Wesleyan battled back from a dreadfully cold first half when it didn’t score until six minutes into the game and hit just seven of 27 shots (25.9%) total in the first 20 minutes. IWC had another scoring drought of more than five minutes late in the half and was behind 30-13 with 1:43 left in the half after a three-pointer by Kenna Borgmeier.
The Tigers started to come back in the final minutes of the half, scoring six straight before the break to get within 30-19 at the half. Wesleyan then put on a shooting display for the first 18 minutes of the second half, at one point hitting 10 of 15 three-point shots in the second half alone.
The Cavaliers of the Cascade Collegiate Conference continued to answer and still led 47-36 after a three-pointer with 11:33 remaining, but the Tigers would own the next nine-plus minutes. IWC went on a 15-2 run over four minutes and took its first lead of the game when Heather Larson (Jr.-Canton, Ill.) hit her second three in a row to make it 51-49.
The teams traded baskets several times, but trailing 54-53 Wesleyan went on a 10-0 run and was ahead 63-54 after two free throws by Rachel Mitchell (Sr.-Des Moines, Iowa) with 2:24 left. The Tigers were unable to hold the lead, though, missing a pair of one-and-one free throw opportunities in the final minute. Concordia’s Maryam Razavi hit a two and then a three-point basket in a 10-second span to make it 63-61, and Danielle Clauson scored in the paint with 11 seconds left to tie the game.
As quickly as the Tigers heated up in the second half, their three-point touch deserted them at the end of regulation and in overtime. Ali DeVries (Jr.-Bellevue, Iowa) missed two clean looks at three-pointers in the final seconds of regulation, and IWC was 0 for 5 from three in overtime, with almost all of the misses coming on open tries.
The overtime saw the Cavaliers draw first blood several minutes in, but the Tigers came back and tied every time. Mitchell had a pair of driving lay-ups, the second coming with 21 seconds left to tie the score at 68. After the timeout, Concordia isolated Gimeno on the right side, and she hit a pull-up jumper for the lead with five seconds left. Mitchell came down in the final seconds and launched a running three-pointer from 30 feet out with two seconds left, but the ball hit the back of the rim and time expired.
IWC ended up shooting 23 for 61 for the game (37.7%) and made 12 of 33 three-point tries (36.4%). Wesleyan out-rebounded the Cavaliers 47-44 but made just 10 of 19 free throws (52.6%). Mitchell led the Tigers with 19 points in her final game at IWC, while DeVries had 16 points and nine rebounds and Larson added 13 points, all in the second half.
Gimeno had 21 points and nine rebounds for Concordia, which shot 38.7% (29-for-75). Clauson added 14 points and Razavi chipped in 12.
The Tigers are now 1-3 in three appearances in the national tourney. IWC was making its first appearance at nationals since 2007, when the Tigers defeated Menlo (Calif.) College in their opener before losing to Taylor (Ind.) University in the round of 16.
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.
Box score #3 CU 70 #6 IWC 68 OT
Pictured from the national tournament. From top: Ali DeVries (#20) fires up a three-pointer; Rachel Mitchell (#34) drives the lane on a fast break; Heather Larson (#25) takes a rebound away from teammate Anna Jones as DeVries looks on; Megan Couch (#23) launches a three-pointer. Pictures provided by Gene Knudsen, for more pictures visit www.siouxlandsportsauthority.com.