Marshalltown Community College women's basketball coach Alison Lacey knows her squad is growing up. It is evident in the way the Tigers are finishing games.
MCC never trailed in the second half of Wednesday's ICCAC contest with Southwestern, but the Spartans got as close as two and trailed by three with just 4 minutes to play.
Instead of coming up short - like the Tigers' were so accustomed to doing - MCC found a way to win and pulled away for a 62-52 victory at the Student Activity Center in ICCAC Division II action.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
MCC’s Mackenzie Gott, center, shoots between Southwestern Community College’s Kaley Folkerts (10) and Brittany Clark Wednesday at the Student Activity Center. Gott had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds as the Tigers won 62-52.
"Two or three games ago, we probably would have lost this game," Lacey said. "We are making better decisions with the ball and are playing smarter. It wasn't pretty, but I will take the win."
The Tigers improve to 7-11 on the season and 2-4 in ICCAC play, while Southwestern drops to 0-19 overall and 0-6 in league play.
"I tried to tell my team that we could very easily be where they are," Lacey said. "They have lost a lot of five- and 10-point games. They are not a bad basketball team. We just needed to play our game and we did that at times tonight."
Marshalltown CC 62, Southwestern CC 52
SOUTHWESTERN (0-19, 0-6) - Folkerts 3-10 0-0 8, Zimmerman 0-2 0-0 0, Knorr 1-7 0-0 2, Stumpf 0-3 2-2 2, Clark 3-12 0-1 6, Williams 2-3 0-0 4, Polson 4-11 0-0 8, Miner 9-17 4-5 22, Wagler 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 22-65 6-7 52.
MCC (7-11, 2-4) - Salgado 3-12 1-2 7, Tobler 3-6 4-4 11, Van Metre 0-4 1-2 1, Gott 4-11 3-6 11, McMullen 5-12 0-2 10, Hansen 4-11 0-0 12, Lee 5-13 0-0 10, Henio 0-0 0-0 0, Slade 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 24-69 9-16 62.
Halftime-MCC 31-19. 3-Point Goals-SWCC 2-13 (Folkerts 2-6, Stumpf 0-1, Miner 0-1, Zimmerman 0-2, Knorr 0-3); MCC 5-21 (Hansen 4-11, Tobler 1-4, Van Metre 0-2, Lee 0-4). Rebounds-SWCC 42 (Knorr 8); MCC 44 (Gott 11). Assists-SWCC 5 (Knorr 2); MCC 16 (Salgado 7). Total Fouls-SWCC 12, MCC 12. Fouled out-Knorr.
Five players reached double figures in the win for the Tigers.
Lauran Hansen buried three 3-pointers in the first half to give the Tigers some breathing room, and Shantal Tobler was responsible for the team's final seven points to seal the win.
Hansen finished with a team-high 12 points off the bench as she added another triple in the second half. Tobler had 11 points and six boards, while Mackenzie Gott recorded her second straight double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
"Shantal was really good down the stretch for us," Lacey said. "Mackenzie just continues to play great for us. Lauran can shoot it and we need her to take shots. It helped us against the zone tonight."
Latrice McMullen and Shana Lee also finished in double-figures with 10 points apiece. Point guard Ashley Salgado was scoreless at halftime but finished with seven points, seven assists and eight boards in the win.
Lee was playing in her second game since missing several contests due to a suspension for what Lacey said was a "violation of team rules."
"I want my players to do the right things on and off the court," Lacey said. "She has improved in that area and she is finding a way to make me play her. She has responded well to her adversity so far."
McMullen scored the first two buckets of the game to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead, but the Spartans grabbed a 9-5 lead following a putback by Morgan Knorr.
Hansen's first three cut the Spartan lead to one and her second triple tied the game at 11. The third trey gave the Tigers' an 18-11 advantage. The largest lead of the first half was the halftime cushion of 31-19.
Lee ended the first half with back-to-back buckets to push the lead to 12.
The Tigers kept the advantage right around 10 during the early stages of the second 20 minutes. After a Lee jumper made it 44-35, the Spartans went on a 7-0 run to get to within two with 11:10 to play.
The run was sparked by five straight points from Jamee Miner, including three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt. Miner finished with a game-high 22 points off the SWCC bench.
MCC countered the 7-0 spurt by scoring eight of the next 10 points to go back up 52-44. Four of those points came from Tobler, who scored all 11 of her points in the final 10 minutes.
Miner went back to work though to keep the game close for winless SWCC. She connected on a 3-point play and then cut the lead to six with another hoop. Kaley Folkerts' 3 made it 55-52 with 4 minutes to play in the contest.
That is when Tobler took over. She canned a trey with 2:25 to play and then iced the Tigers' second straight win by burying four straight free throws in the final minute.
"We have been working on free throws a lot in practice," Lacey said. "That was impressive that she went up there and made four to help get this win."
The Tigers only shot 35 percent from the floor and made just 5-of-21 from long range. They won the game despite leading scorer Mady Van Metre scoring just one point in 40 minutes.
Southwestern was out-rebounded 44-42 in the game but kept it close in the second half by creating several second-chance opportunities.
"We got a little lackadaisical in the second half on the boards," Lacey said. "Some of those balls bounced their way but sometimes your lucky when you work hard."
The Tigers will next play Saturday on the road against No. 15 DMACC (15-5) beginning at 1 p.m. NIACC upset DMACC on Wednesday. ... Van Metre came into the game averaging better than 11 points per game for MCC. She was 0-for-4 from the floor. ... Tobler added six boards and three assists in the win, while McMullen and Lee also pulled down six rebounds apiece. ... Southwestern did hold a six-point lead at the 16:28 mark of the first half. ... The game was tied three times and the lead changed just twice. ... Darian Polson and Folkerts each had eights points for the Spartans. Knorr had a team-high eight rebounds.