SHOWING SIGNS

Win pushes Triton women above break-even mark

Photo by Paul DeCoursey Iowa Central's Charisma Currie drives against Iowa Lakes on Wednesday night. For more photos, visit CU at messengernews.net

Kelly Kruger saw his Iowa Central women come together and grow up right before his very eyes Wednesday night.

Balanced play and poise helped the Tritons claim a 56-52 victory over Iowa Lakes inside Hodges Fieldhouse, evening their ICCAC record in the process.

Kayla Morgan had 11 points, Charisma Currie and Rachel Toto each scored 10, while Michaela Graffunder added nine for Iowa Central (10-9 overall, 2-2 in the league). They improved to 5-5 at home this season with the league triumph.

“I thought we made plays happen,” Kruger said. “We had a couple of baseline out of bounds plays that worked, Rachel stepped up and hit some big three-pointers.

“It was a good team effort. We got contributions from several different players.”

Clinging to a 51-50 lead with a minute left, Sarah Rolling worked her way free for a layup off a perfectly designed play from Kruger.

“We ran that thinking (Iowa Lakes) would not switch, and they didn’t,” Kruger said. “We got it to work. It was a huge bucket for Sarah that came off a very well-executed play and she finished.”

The Lakers (8-11, 1-3) were coming off two tough conference losses and continued to scratch and claw their way to stay in the game. Lauryn Smith led them with 13 points, but they finished just 19 of 66 from the field and 5-for-25 from the three-point line.

“That was a very solid team,” Kruger said. “They very easily could have been 3-0 in the conference coming in after losing two games (to Southeastern and NIACC by a combined eight points), so this was a great one to get.”

Graffunder, who finished with nine rebounds and two steals, and Madison Jensen each had five points in the opening half as the teams played to a 20-20 draw. The Tritons outscored Iowa Lakes 18-12 in the third after Toto and Morgan combined to make four triples and score 14 points.

Iowa Central was able to seal the deal by going 7-for-11 from the free throw line in the fourth.

Morgan also grabbed six rebounds, while Toto had four assists. Meagan Woodward grabbed five rebounds and scored five points off the bench.

“We showed more poise at times, which was good to see,” Kruger said. “I thought we did a better job of not pressing and moving on from our mistakes.”

The Tritons will see a big step up in competition this Saturday, traveling to Cedar Rapids to face No. 1 (NJCAA, Div. II) Kirkwood. The Eagles improved to 20-0 overall and 4-0 in the league with a convincing 79-44 victory over Southeastern (13-7, 2-2) last night.

IOWA CENTRAL 56, IOWA LAKES 52

Iowa Central – Sarah Rolling 1-3 0-0 2, Charisma Currie 4-9 1-4 10, Kayla Morgan 3-4 2-2 11, Michaela Graffunder 3-7 3-4 9, Rachel Toto 2-13 5-5 10, Samantha Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Meagan Woodward 2-5 0-0 5, Madison Jensen 2-5 2-5 6, Ashley Turcotte 1-2 1-2 3. Totals: 18-49 14-22 56.

Iowa Lakes – Marissa Ruiz 3-12 2-2 10, Lauryn Smith 4-14 5-6 13, Jazmin Benally 1-3 0-0 3, Mia Wassink 4-7 0-0 8, Lemia Ntor-Ue 1-6 2-2 4, Gabriella Garcia 1-6 0-0 2, Alicia Ibarra 0-4 0-0 0, Shai’anye Wesley 2-8 0-2 4, Emilea Jacobs 0-0 0-0 0, Bailey Trickel 2-2 0-0 6, Tristyn Dunivant 1-4 0-0 2. Totals: 19-66 9-12 52.

Quarter scores: Tied 11-11, 20-20, Iowa Central led 38-32. Three-point goals: Iowa Central 6-14 (Currie 1-1, Morgan 3-4, Graffunder 0-1, Toto 1-4, Miller 0-1, Woodward 1-3); Iowa Lakes 5-25 (Ruiz 2-7, Smith 0-5, Benally 1-3, Garcia 0-4, Ibarra 0-3, Trickel 2-2, Dunivant 0-1). Total rebounds: Iowa Central 46, Iowa Lakes 35. Steals: Iowa Central 4, Iowa Lakes 11. Blocked shots: Iowa Central 4, Iowa Lakes 1. Assists: Iowa Central 9, Iowa Lakes 3. Turnovers: Iowa Central 22, Iowa Lakes 13. Team fouls: Iowa Central 22, Iowa Lakes 17.

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