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Massner’s double-double not enough for IW Women in loss

Nov 30, 2017

GRINNELL — The Iowa Wesleyan women’s basketball team was back on the road in Tuesday night’s action. They took on non-conference opponent, Grinnell College, and were looking to turn things around. The Tigers were unable to come back from a big second quarter by Grinnell, and fell 57-67 for their sixth loss of the season.

Darby Massner and Caitlyn Welch started the Tiger offense off on a positive note, each sinking three pointers for IW’s first points of the game. The score was tied up at 6-6 with 6:51 remaining in the quarter, but Massner was able to put IW back in front with a pair of free throws. The free throws started a run for the Tigers that saw their lead extend to ten points with just over four minutes remaining. Grinnell did not go away, however, and were able to get the deficit back down to five points at the end of the first quarter.

The Pioneers went on a run to start the second quarter, and with just over seven minutes to play in the first half, the Tigers led by just three points. Massner and Welch once again put IW on the board in the quarter with a pair of three pointers. Welch’s three-pointer came with 5:13 to go, and brought the score to 29-24 in favor of Iowa Wesleyan. Grinnell would eventually tie the game up and go ahead with 2:38 left in the half. Emily Hammel hit a free throw for the Tigers to bring IW within one point of the Pioneer lead, but Iowa Wesleyan would fail to score for the remainder of the half and trail 30-37 at the half.

Iowa Wesleyan tried to get some momentum to start the second half, and LaStella Slack scored on a layup to cut the lead to five points with just under nine minutes left in the third. The Tiger offense struggled to get shots to fall for the next few minutes of action. Josie Zerrusen finally ended the drought with a jumper at the 5:36 minute mark. Slack finished another layup to bring the score to 38-46 in favor of the Pioneers, but the Tiger offense would stall again as Grinnell built a 14 point lead to close the half. Darby Massner made two free throws for the final points of the third quarter to bring the score to 41-53.

Josie Zerrusen opened the fourth quarter with a three pointer for the Tigers. The momentum was short lived as Grinnell was able to get a basket on the next possession. Both teams failed to score just over two minutes, but Iowa Wesleyan was able to end the dry spell with back to back baskets which cut the Pioneer lead to seven points. Iowa Wesleyan would fail to get any closer, as they would trail by seven on two other occasions before the end of regulation. IW would suffer a 67-57 loss to the Pioneers for their sixth straight loss.

Massner led all scorers with 27 points with the help of five three-pointers and 6-9 shooting from the free throw line. She added 13 rebounds in the loss to give her her second double-double of the season. Caitlyn Welch added 10 points on 3-5 shooting from the field, including 3-3 from the three point line. LaStella Slack was just shy of a double-double for the Tigers. She finished with nine rebounds and eight points on the night.

Iowa Wesleyan will travel to Louisville, Kentucky this Saturday, December 2nd. They will take on Spalding University at 1 p.m., to kick off the start of SLIAC play. The Tigers overall record is 0-6 to start the season.

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