IW women run past Greenville in fourth
BY ANDY KRUTSINGER
Mt. Pleasant News
The Iowa Wesleyan women scored a crucial home win on Saturday evening to get back to above .500 in SLIAC play.
The Tigers exploded in the fourth quarter with five three-pointers, which aided them to a big conference win, 74-66, over Greenville.
The Tigers and Panthers fought back and forth in the first quarter to a 19-19 tie. IW hit three shots from outside in the first period. Two of which came from Darby Massner, who had eight points in the period.
The Panthers took an early lead in the second quarter with a layup to open the period. IW played from behind for almost the entire quarter before a couple of Jaimie Hurd free throws made it 31-30 with 1:15 remaining. Greenville retook the lead, however, with a three-point play in the final seconds to take a 33-31 lead into the break.
The Tigers scored the first six points of the third quarter to take a 37-33 lead. Greenville scrapped back but couldn’t re-take the lead and IW held a 41-40 advantage after three quarters.
Greenville was finally able to re-claim the lead early in the fourth quarter and had a 45-41 lead with 8:35 remaining.
LaStella Slack brought the Tigers back within two points with a couple of free throws and Josie Zerrusen caught fire with three straight three-pointers to keep the Tigers ahead.
“They were big,” Tiger coach Steve Williamson said of Zerrusen’s threes. “She had some great looks. Our point guard did a really good job of penetrating and kicking it to her (and) Josie had her feet set and knocked them down.”
Greenville’s shooters heated up as well, but the Tigers were able to pull away thanks in part to two more three-pointers from Massner.
Zerrusen ended the period with 11 fourth-quarter points. Massner added eight and IW gritted out the eight-point victory.
“This is huge,” Williamson said after the win. “(We’re) still right in place there to be able to win conference. We hold our own destiny in our hands…we just gotta keep winning.”
Massner scored 20 points in the game to lead the team. She also co-led the Tigers with seven rebounds. Jaimie Hurd scored 19 points and Zerrusen’s 11 gave the Tigers three double-digit scorers.
Cairece Allen had nine points, seven rebounds and six assists in the win. Slack scored six. Hunter Clark had four. Allie Massner scored three points and Ahlia Tai finished with two.
The IW women moved to 4-8 overall with the win and 3-2 in conference play. They’ll travel to Westminster College on Wednesday, Jan. 11, for a game starting at 6 p.m.