Kirkwood tops Triton women

Photo by Paul DeCoursey Shariah Smith, a Fort Dodge Senior High graduate, looks to pass for Iowa Central on Wednesday night against Kirkwood inside Hodges Fieldhouse.

For stretches at a time Wednesday night, the Iowa Central women played point-for-point with No. 13 Kirkwood.

The Eagles, though, used their depth to post a 64-46 victory here inside Hodges Fieldhouse in the ICCAC opener for both teams.

Ashley Tull led three Kirkwood (6-4 overall, 1-0 in league) players in double figures with 13, as Johanna Myers added 11 and Ju Gaston had 10. Tull also grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.

For the Tritons (7-3, 0-1), Brittany West scored 15 and Avery Terwilliger added 10.

The loss snapped a six-game win streak for Iowa Central and was its first home loss.

“I thought we played too fragmented and not like a fist,” ICCC head coach Kelly Kruger said. “We were there with them for several moments, we just played like we practice. We have to figure out a way to do it for the entire 40 minutes and not just in spurts.”

Seven different Eagles scored in the first quarter as they used a 10-0 run to build a 21-11 advantage. Myers made it eight different scores in the first half alone, sinking three 3-pointers in the second quarter.

Kirkwood was 14-for-33 from the field and led by as many as 13 early, hitting five 3-pointers. They were also plus-6 on the glass, including an 8-4 edge in offensive rebounds.

“That late run in the first quarter by Kirkwood really put us in a hole that made it difficult to climb out of,” Kruger said. “I wouldn’t say any one person for their team got hot and hurt us, we just didn’t do a good enough job of competing.”

West’s 3-point shooting kept the Tritons in it during the opening 20 minutes, as the sophomore knocked down three triples and had 12 points. Iowa Central made five 3-pointers in the first half of action, but shot just 31 percent from the field overall with eight turnovers.

Terwilliger, Shariah Smith and Jessica Jackson each grabbed five rebounds, with Terwilliger also dishing out five assists. The Tritons, though, finished just 15-for-56 from the field and made only seven of their 26 three-point attempts.

“When we aren’t shooting the ball well, we’ve got to do a better job of getting to the free-throw line,” Kruger said. “We’ve got to get more players involved in the offense and working to get to the basket.”

Justice Crooks added seven points and two assists for the Tritons.

Iowa Central cut a once 12-point deficit down to four after five unanswered points by Terwilliger late in the third, but Kirkwood responded with a 5-0 run to push the lead back to 49-40, scoring the first five in the fourth to take command once more.

Tull, a freshman, had six points in the first five minutes of the final quarter, as the Eagles went up 60-43.

Iowa Central returns to action Saturday, hosting Marshalltown at 1 p.m.

KIRKWOOD 64, IOWA CENTRAL 46

Iowa Central — Kira Ward 3-8 0-0 6, Tierra Itula 2-8 0-0 5, Shariah Smith 0-5 0-0 0, Avery Terwilliger 2-8 5-6 10, Brittany West 5-14 1-2 15, Justice Crooks 2-3 2-2 7, Ceairra Smith 0-4 0-0 0, Aaliyah Hull 0-3 0-0 0, Jessica Jackson 1-3 1-2 3. Totals: 15-56 9-12 46

Kirkwood — Mackenzie Jenkins 2-9 0-0 4, Ju Gaston 4-10 2-2 10, Anasha Hurst 0-4 0-0 0, Haley Mullinix 1-1 0-0 3, Ashley Tull 5-11 6-6 13, Paige Bradford 1-3 0-0 2, Amara Lipsey 2-4 2-2 7, Jhada Kennedy 1-4 0-0 3, Johanna Myers 4-4 0-0 11, Leah Robinson 3-5 0-1 6, Brianna Mensen 2-4 0-0 5. Totals: 25-59 7-11 64.

Quarter scores: Kirkwood led 21-11, 38-27, 49-40. Three-point goals: Iowa Central 7-26, Kirkwood 7-24. Total rebounds: Iowa Central 37, Kirkwood 40. Steals: Iowa Central 4, Kirkwood 10. Assists: Iowa Central 13, Kirkwood 15. Blocked shots: Kirkwood 3. Team fouls: Iowa Central 12, Kirkwood 14. Turnovers: Iowa Central 17, Kirkwood 15. Points off turnovers: Iowa Central 20, Kirkwood 24.

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