Dec. 20, 2010
Story courtesy of Iowa Wesleyan Sports Information
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Once again stifling its opponent defensively, Iowa Wesleyan picked up its second-straight win over a nationally-ranked team, defeating fifth-ranked Cornerstone (Mich.) on Saturday in the championship game of the Cornerstone Christmas Classic.
The Tigers, ranked No. 12 in the most recent NAIA Division II Top 25 Poll, defeated the Golden Eagles by holding them to 25.5 percent shooting, one day after limiting No. 21 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) to 28.3 percent shooting. The Tigers improved to 11-3 on the year and dealt Cornerstone its second loss of the season, dropping the hosts to 13-2 overall.
IWC got big individual performances on Saturday from Anna Jones and Jill Ginder. Jones piled up 14 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals and won the tournament's Most Valuable Player award. Ginder, who was also named to the all-tournament team, led the Tigers in scoring Saturday with a career-high 27 points in addition to six rebounds.
Iowa Wesleyan led by 14 points in the first half and held a 30-21 lead at halftime, but the second half is when the Tigers really took control. The Tigers used a 19-4 lead early in the second half to turn an eight-point lead into a 51-28 bulge midway through the half. The Tigers would continue to run away and led by as many as 30 points at one point.
Iowa Wesleyan shot just well enough, hitting only 33.3 percent from the field (21-of-63) and surviving an ugly first half when both teams shot 7-for-30 (23.3 percent) from the floor. The Tigers gained separation by hitting three-pointers, as Ginder was 5-of-7 from behind the arc and the team finished 9-for-22 on threes (40.9 percent). IWC also converted at the free throw line, making 17-of-20 for the game (85.0 percent), including 12-of-14 in the first half.
Wesleyan also did good work on the glass with a 48-39 rebounding advantage against the much taller Golden Eagles. Abby Brend had a career-best 12 rebounds and Melanie McCreight added nine rebounds from her guard position. Kristen Lutz also added five rebounds off the bench.
McCreight also scored 14 points and added three steals as the Tigers forced 19 Cornerstone turnovers. IWC committed just 12 turnovers for the second straight game.
Melissa Veltkamp led Cornerstone with 14 points. The Tigers held Golden Eagles' leading scorer Robyn Veltkamp to just four points, more than ten points below her average. It was the first-ever meeting between Iowa Wesleyan and Cornerstone, a member of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.