In a word: nothing.
Marshalltown Community College women's basketball coach Alison Lacey hoped to get a lot more out of Saturday's practice than her one-word description of what she liked from the game that preceded.
"Absolutely nothing," Lacey expounded. "I thought we were soft, we weren't tough, I think we were already on Thanksgiving break.
T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE
Marshalltown Community College’s Mady Van Metre (24) attempts a running shot in the lane over South Australia’s Michaela Lappin in the second half of Saturday’s women’s basketball game at the Student Activity Center. Van Metre scored seven points in the loss.
"We played 40 minutes not the way we're supposed to so we're going to come back and practice."
The 19-point beating delivered by the South Australian Sports Institute gave MCC plenty of opportunities to pick up practice topics. The prep school program from Kidman Park in Lacey's native Australia broke free from a 12-all tie midway through the first half and finished off the Tigers, 67-48, at the Student Activity Center.
Losing to a team from her homeland was not as frustrating for Lacey as how MCC (2-3) lost to South Australia on Saturday afternoon.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA - Hatchard 2-8 0-1 4, Johnson 5-16 2-2 14, Thacker 3-3 0-0 6, Martin 1-7 2-2 4, Brine 3-5 0-0 6, Pierce 2-4 0-0 4, Herriman 2-10 0-0 4, Lappin 5-8 6-9 16, Calvert 0-2 4-4 4, Luders 1-3 2-3 4. TOTALS 24-66 16-21 67.
MCC (2-3) - Salgado 4-14 5-6 13, Tobler 4-7 1-4 10, Lee 2-11 2-4 6, Gott 1-5 0-0 2, McMullen 3-9 2-5 8, Van Metre 1-5 4-6 7, Slade 1-3 0-0 2. TOTALS 16-54 14-25 48.
Halftime-SASI 33-23. 3-Point Goals-SASI 3-24 (Johnson 2-8, Martin 1-4, Pierce 0-1, Calvert 0-1, Thacker 0-1, Hatchard 0-4, Herriman 0-5); MCC 2-6 (Tobler 1-2, Van Metre 1-2, Salgado 0-1, Lee 0-1). Rebounds-SASI 36 (Lappin 6); MCC 38 (McMullen 14). Total Fouls-SASI 22, MCC 21. Fouled out-Lee, Slade.
"They were tough and fundamentally sound, which is exactly what I want our team to be," said Lacey. "And to see my team completely the opposite of that, that's what bothers me."
Overlooking the scrappy squad from South Australia was not an option, not after it handed NJCAA Division II No. 7-ranked Southeastern its first loss of the season a night earlier in West Burlington.
The Tigers, short bench and all, simply could not match SASI's hustle. A back-and-forth battle to open the game quickly gave way to South Australia's transition offense, and 19 MCC turnovers - and a number of silly fouls - made it easier on the visitors.
Marshalltown ended a four-minute scoring drought with Shakeria Slade's putback bucket at the 11:04 mark of the first half to tie the game at 12-all, but SASI had a trio of six- or seven-point runs the rest of the way to break out to a 33-23 halftime advantage.
Twelve of South Australia's 17 points over the final 8:04 of the first half came from the free-throw line, and foul trouble would continue to plague MCC the rest of the game.
The mounting fouls even forced Lacey to call into action sophomore Mady Van Metre, who sat out the team's previous game because of injury. Van Metre finished with seven points in just under 9 minutes of playing time, the last 4:45 of which was prompted by Slade's fifth personal foul.
Shana Lee had already fouled out at the 9-minute mark, leaving the Tigers without another reserve on the bench aside from Van Metre.
"Obviously she's hurting and it was a stupid mistake that made us have to put her in the game before I felt ready to," said Lacey. "The biggest thing is that a lot of these girls were playing for themselves and that had nothing to do with the team, with the Tiger program. Until we realize how to be unselfish, it's going to be games like this over and over again.
"I don't know what's wrong with our girls."
The second half started the way the first half ended. South Australia rattled off the first nine points after intermission to open up a 42-23 lead.
MCC's only saving grace was freshman point guard Ashley Salgado, who scored nine of her team-leading 13 points after the break, as well as Van Metre's contributions in an emergency role.
The Tigers got no closer than 17 points after SASI's surge to start the second half.
All 10 South Australia players scored at least four points, led by Michaela Lappin's 16 off the bench. Jade Johnson made a pair of 3-pointers on her way to 14 points.
MCC got 10 points from Shantal Tobler, and Latrice McMullen had eight points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Tigers shot a paltry 16-for-54 (29.6 percent) from the field and were just 14-for-25 from the free-throw line while committing 19 turnovers.
They'll have a few days of practice before heading to the holiday break. MCC returns to action with a Nov. 27 contest against D-II No. 8 Iowa Western in Council Bluffs.