The Iowa Wesleyan women came all the way back from a 12-point second-half deficit on Wednesday night to send the game into overtime, but the Tigers ran out of gas and players when the extra period hit. MacMurray pulled the win out 80-74 to snap the Tigers’ two-game winning streak.
Harriet Fowler led the Tigers to a hot start offensively. She had nine points in the first half, and IW enjoyed an 18-14 lead after the first quarter before the Highlanders battled back in the second quarter. Trailing by two points in the final minute of the second quarter, Emily Hammel hit a jumper to tie the game at 31-31, where it would stand until the break.
The beginning of the third quarter was a disaster for IW. MacMurray scored the first 12 points of the second half to put the Tigers’ backs against the wall. IW got hot toward the end of the third quarter and cut the lead to two points on an Allie Massner layup with four seconds left, but the Highlanders still led 50-46 after three.
The Tigers cut the lead down to one point on two different occasions in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter. Jordanne Mickley cut the lead to 50-49 with a three-pointer, and Darby Massner cut it to 53-52 with a layup one minute later.
MacMurray still held a lead until 3:35 remaining in the fourth quarter. Darby hit a jumper to tie the game up at 60-60, and Fowler followed that with a go-ahead three-pointer with three minutes remaining.
MacMurray came back took a one-point lead on a couple of free throws by Shelby Fink with two minutes remaining. The Highlanders held a two-point lead with 1:30 remaining, but Allie was fouled with 1:18 showing on the clock and tied the game up at 65-65 with a pair of free throws of her own.
Fink missed a three-pointer with six seconds left, giving the Tigers a shot at the win, but Allie’s halfcourt shot was no good and the two teams went into overtime.
The extra period didn’t go the way IW had planned. Darby fouled out early in the period, which made it two Tiger starters out of the game. Deericka Martin had fouled out early in the fourth quarter. MacMurray scored the first four points of the extra period and never relinquished the lead.
IW had three players foul out in the loss. Da’Jaah Swolley fouled out in the overtime period as well.
“We did a good job battling back,” said head coach Jack Bruns after the game. “We got ourselves in a bad hole there. Credit to our players for making huge plays down the stretch on offense. Going into overtime, the thing that frustrated me the most is, we got a big stop to end the half, but then in overtime, we were just deflated. Really that’s what it came down to, just effort to finish plays.”
Fowler finished the night with 22 points, which included an 11-12 night from the free throw line. She also led the team with seven assists and two steals.
“Harriet was very aggressive, and that’s kind of what we planned on,” Bruns said. “We knew they were going to try to take Darby and Allie away. Harriet stepped up, hit free throws for us, knocked down shots. Didn’t quite finish it for us, but I was really proud of the effort she gave.”
Mickley finished the night with 13 points. Allie had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Darby finished with a double-double as well, going for 12 points and 10 rebounds. Martin had seven points. Hammel, Swolley and Sarah Kavanh had two points apiece, and Claire Hanson scored one.
IW fell to 5-15 overall and 3-10 in the SLIAC. They’ll host Greenville University on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 1 p.m.