Contact: Adam Samson, NAIA Sports Information and Media Services Intern, email@example.comSIOUX CITY, Iowa
- (Box Score
) Tennessee Wesleyan outlasted Iowa Wesleyan 65-60 in a back-and-forth battle at the 20th Annual State Farm-NAIA Women's Basketball National Championship on Thursday.
The Bulldogs won just their third game in nine appearances at the National Championship to move to 3-8 in tournament play. TWC improves its overall record to 30-3 on the year and will meet the winner of the Morningside (Iowa)/Indiana Northwest matchup on Friday at 7 p.m. Iowa Wesleyan finishes it season at 22-9, losing four its last five contests.
Tennessee Wesleyan established a nine-point lead with 2:20 left in the first half, but the Tigers surged back and brought the game within two heading into the locker room for the break. Tennessee and Iowa Wesleyan had almost identical field goal percentages entering the second half. The Bulldogs shot 36.7 percent for the half, while the Tigers hit 35.7 percent of their shots.
After being down for most of the first half, Iowa Wesleyan crept back into the game and grabbed its first lead of the game since the score was 5-4. This sparked the six lead changes with 12 minutes remaining in the contest. Tennessee Wesleyan, who captured the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament and went undefeated in league play (14-0), took the lead with 3:57 left in the game and held on for the five-point win. Heather Gibson led the Bulldogs with 17 points. Iowa Wesleyan sported four players in double-figure scoring. Jill Ginder had 13 points for the Tigers.
Leading for the Lady Bulldogs was Heather Gibson with 17 points. Amy Jo Castor scored 13 points and pulled down 6 rebounds. Senior, Brittany Steen also had 6 rebounds and 6 points. Also scoring for the Lady Bulldogs was Jaryn Davis (9), Cody Houck (8), Leah Frazier (8), and Candace Cain (4).
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