Hoops came at a premium for the Iowa Central women's basketball team Wednesday night.
Stymied offensively throughout, the Tritons (18-8 overall) suffered a 57-50 setback to 18th-ranked (NJCAA Div. I) Iowa Western at Hodges Fieldhouse.
"That was the best defensive team we've played all year," ICCC head coach Craig Carlson said. "(The Reivers) are ranked No. 18 in Div. I for a reason, but we also had some mental mistakes. On the positive side, I thought our defensive effort was outstanding."
Photo by Paul DeCoursey
Lydia Harvey, a St. Edmond graduate, shoots for Iowa Central on Wednesday inside Hodges Fieldhouse.
Miliakere Koyamainavure anchored Iowa Central with 10 points and seven rebounds, while St. Edmond graduates Theresa Doyle and Lydia Harvey each added nine points. As a collective unit, the Tritons shot just 27.7 percent from the field and committed 22 turnovers, while dishing out a season-low five assists.
"We turned the ball over too many times (Wednesday) and missed a couple of (defensive) boxouts," Carlson said. "This team will compete with anybody underneath, but when it comes to crunch time, we don't have that one person to get us a basket when we absolutely need one."
Trailing by as many as six points early in the first half, Iowa Central eventually regained the lead on a Harvey triple in the opening stages of the second frame. After the Reivers then answered with an 11-2 run of their own, the Tritons sliced the deficit back to just one, however, the visitors sealed the deal by hitting 6 of 8 free throws in the final minute.
IOWA WESTERN 57, IOWA CENTRAL 50
Iowa Western - Shaw-nee Winningham 4-8 1-2 9, Bobbi Beckwith 1-6 0-0 3, Tyisha Smith 3-12 6-10 12, Lakota Goe 1-7 0-0 3, Amber McCann 1-2 0-0 2, Alise Karlsone 5-9 6-6 17, Blair Harding 1-4 0-0 3, Leah Scott 1-6 4-6 6, Ashley Prather 1-4 0-0 2, Natasha Lebedeva 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-58 17-24 57.
Iowa Central - Theresa Doyle 2-6 4-4 9, Katie Dentlinger 4-8 0-0 8, Babaye Oja 3-12 0-0 8, Miliakere Koyamainavure 4-12 2-2 10, Lydia Harvey 3-12 2-4 9, Lauren Bengen 0-2 0-0 0, Rebecca Easton 0-0 0-0 0, Jade Gregory 2-4 0-0 6, Carly McRae 0-1 0-0 0, Allison Seibert 0-4 0-0 0, Jasmine Binion 0-4 0-0 0. Totals: 18-65 8-10 50.
Halftime score: Iowa Western led 31-26. Three-point goals: Iowa Western 4-29 (Beckwith 1-6, Smith 0-4, Goe 1-7, McCann 0-1, Karlsone 1-5, Harding 1-3, Scott 0-2, Prather 0-1); Iowa Central 6-26 (Doyle 1-4, Dentlinger 0-1, Oja 2-5, Harvey 1-7, Bengen 0-2, Gregory 2-4, Seibert 0-2, Binion 0-1). Total rebounds: Iowa Western 35, Iowa Central 47. Turnovers: Iowa Western 13, Iowa Central 22. Total fouls: Iowa Western 14, Iowa Central 19.
Iowa Central endured a lengthy 7:30 scoreless drought in the first half, while going another 4:31 without a single point following the break. The Tritons, who held a 47-35 rebounding advantage, went only 8-for-10 from the charity stripe compared to 17 of 24 for Iowa Western.
"It's hard to overcome a huge free-throw discrepancy like that in a tight game," said Carlson. "I thought we were aggressive going to the basket, but we just didn't get a few calls to go our way."
Alisa Karlsone (17) and Tyisha Smith (12) each scored in double figures for the Reivers (24-5), who are under the direction of Jim Turgeon - the brother of University of Maryland head men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon.
"Our team has improved immensely since the start of the year," Carlson said. "We still have three regular-season games left, and we're in a very good position to get a couple of wins coming up. Hopefully, we can regroup now for Sophomore Day."
Looking to snap a mini two-game slide, the Tritons welcome Iowa Lakes (8-20) Saturday. Tip is set for 1 p.m.