The Iowa Central women's basketball team opened up 2013 with a hard-fought 68-50 victory over the Wartburg JV Wednesday night inside Hodges Fieldhouse.
The win was the fourth straight for the Tritons (10-3 overall), and their sixth in the past seven games overall.
Katie Dentlinger recorded a double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Miliakere Koyamainavure added 14 points, eight boards and three steals.
"We knew this team would give us trouble, as they just defeated Ellsworth - who we face Saturday to open the second half of our league slate," ICCC head coach Craig Carlson said. "Dentlinger had a former (high school) teammate playing for Wartburg (Mary Halverson), and she really wanted to step up her game. I thought she played one of her finest games of the year, as did Koyamainavure.
"We had to take away Wartburg's three-point shooting, and we did that, and I thought our defense played well. Now, we just need to work better on the offensive side."
The Tritons used a pair of 6-0 runs to build a 27-16 advantage at the half, as the Knights shot just 3-for-22 from the field. Wartburg did make nine free throws in the opening 20 minutes, allowing them to hang around.
IOWA CENTRAL 68, WARTBURG JV 50
Iowa Central - Carly McRae 9, Theresa Doyle 8, Katie Dentlinger 19, Miliakere Koyamainavure 14, Lydia Harvey 5, Jade Gregory 2, Rebecca Easton 2, Lauren Bengen 3, Allison Seibert 6.
Wartburg JV - Alyssa Sager 18, Chelsey Wedeking 10, Sara Morrissey 4, Mary Halverson 6, Emily Eckberg 2, Abby Lasher 4, Audrey Cooper 6.
Halftime score: Iowa Central led 27-16. Three-point goals: Iowa Central 5 (Doyle 2, Seibert 2, Bengen 1); Wartburg JV 2 (Sager 1, Wedeking 1). Total rebounds: Iowa Central 46, Wartburg JV 34. Steals: Iowa Central 8. Wartburg JV 8. Team fouls: Iowa Central 22, Wartburg JV 13. Fouled out: Babaye Oja, Koyamainavure.
After the intermission, though, Iowa Central started to fine tune things, putting together an 11-1 run that saw the lead expand to 43-28. Dentlinger score 10 of her 19 over the final 20 minutes, while Doyle had eight and Koyamainavure dropped in six.
"We were able to wear them down (in the second half)," Carlson said. "We worked our offense a little better and found the open shooter, but we still need to do a better job of reversing the ball and moving without it.
"However, this was a good game and a good test to start the second half of the year and I'm happy we came out on top."
Alyssa Sager led Wartburg with 18 points.
Iowa Central (1-1) takes on Ellsworth (7-8, 0-1) on Saturday at 1 p.m.