By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
It took a while to shake off a slow start offensively but the Iowa Wesleyan women eventually broke out a SLIAC win on Wednesday night, 62-48 over Blackburn College.
The Tigers had to bounce back from an early deficit. The Beavers knocked in a handful of jumpers down the stretch in the first quarter and held a 13-8 lead late in the period. A jumper from Allie Massner cut the lead to three at the buzzer and IW trailed 13-10.
After a Josie Zerrusen three-pointer tied the game up to start the second quarter, Blackburn scored five straight to build an 18-13 lead. The Tigers ended the half on a 12-4 run, however, and led 25-22 at the break.
It was all Tigers early in the third quarter. IW scored the first 13 points of the third period, getting a couple of three-pointers from Darby Massner and four points each from Zerrusen and LaStella Slack.
The Tigers opened up a 38-22 lead with 6:46 remaining, and were able to cruise from that point forward, as Blackburn was unable to get back within striking range. The Tigers led 51-38 after three quarters and outscored the Beavers by one point in the fourth quarter to close out the win.
After the game, Coach Jack Bruns said the team just needed to get back to meeting their expectations after the sluggish start, and that he was pleased with how his team responded to the early deficit.
?I thought our defense was pretty good in the first half, the whole game really, but offensively we were just lacking a little bit,? Bruns said. ?(I) just reminded (the team) who we are and what we do best.?
IW was led by D. Massner, who finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. Zerrusen scored 13 points and dishd out a team-leading four assists, and Caitlyn Welch scored 11 to give the Tigers three double-digit scorers.
Slack finished the day with eight points and three steals. A. Massner scored five points. Ahliah Tai had four points and 11 rebounds, and Emily Hammel finished the game with four points.
IW moved to 4-15 overall and 4-7 in the conference with the win. They?ll host Webster (14-5, 8-3) on Saturday, February 3, at 1 p.m.