Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
MT. PLEASANT — The Iowa Wesleyan women’s basketball team has been near unstoppable at home dating back to last season.
Not only did the Tigers pick up their third straight win, 55-49, over Mount Mercy University on Wednesday night at home. The victory also marked the Iowa Wesleyan women’s 12th consecutive win in Ruble Arena.
It wasn’t an easy task downing the Mustangs in the non-conference bout. The largest lead in Wednesday game was just eight points held by Iowa Wesleyan.
Iowa Wesleyan started slow against Mount Mercy offensively, but the Tiger defense didn’t let the game get out of hand.
The Mustangs opened the scoring just over a minute into the game and they would score again at the 7:30 mark to take a 4-0 advantage.
Iowa Wesleyan didn’t break the scoring spell until Isabell West was able to cut through the lane and score a pair.
The Tiger’s Maci Kuchta gave Iowa Wesleyan their first lead, 5-4, on a deep ball.
Throughout the rest of the first quarter, four points is all the separation the Tigers were able to create, 12-8.
With 21 seconds on the clock the Mustangs Saide Struchen laid it in to give them the lead, but Kuchta connected on a two point jumper to tie it up heading into the second quarter.
To start the second, Mount Mercy retook the lead, 16-14, but after a Breanna Wendland layup and eight straight points from West, the Tigers held what would be their largest lead of the night, 24-16.
Mount Mercy quickly weathered the storm though as they scored six unanswered to cut the lead to two, 24-22, with 1:24 on the clock.
With 14 tics on the clock though, the Tiger’s Megan Teal was fouled after an offensive rebound. Teal converted one to give Iowa Wesleyan an 25-22 lead heading into the half.
The Tigers would never trail.
Wendland opened the scoring in the third making it 28-22 on a converted and one.
The Mustangs cut it to four, 28-24, on a pair of free throws, but a West two and a pair of Teal free throws were enough to match the Tigers largest lead of the night.
Through the rest of the third quarter, both teams went back and forth. The Mustangs were able to cut the lead to three, 34-31, and then two, 36-34, after a three point make.
Any momentum was quickly thwarted by Iowa Wesleyan, as Wendland and Brielle Baker hit back-to-back threes to put the Tiger back up eight heading into the fourth, 42-34.
In the fourth, Mount Mercy continued to hang around, but Iowa Wesleyan held on.
The Mustangs cut the lead to two twice over the course of the fourth, but each time the Tigers answered with the three ball, once from Kuchta to make it 48-43 and from Wendland to make it 51-46.
With 1:34 to go, the Mustangs make it a four point game, 53-48, with two from the foul line.
The Tigers were able to create a turnover on Mount Mercy’s next possession and it became a free throw game the rest of the way out. Wendland delivered from the stripe to ice it.
Wendland led Iowa Wesleyan with 18 points in the game. She also grabbed nine rebounds and tallied three assists, along with three steals.
West followed with 16 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Kuchta finished with 13 points, four rebounds and two assists. Teal added five points and eight rebounds. Baker had three points, six boards and two steals.
Iowa improves to 3-1 on the season. In their next matchups, the Tigers will compete in the Viterbo Classic in La Crosse, Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday. They will take on (RV) Dakota State University and Viterbo University.