CRESTON - After holding a 14-point lead at halftime and a 10-point advantage entering the fourth quarter, the Iowa Lakes women couldn't withstand Southwestern's furious fourth-quarter rally in a 72-67 loss on Saturday.
The Lakers led 13-9 after one quarter and 39-25 at halftime. Southwestern cut into the lead in the third quarter, with the Lakers still hanging on to a 52-42 advantage before the hosts out-scored the visitors 30-15 in the final frame.
"I am proud of the team's effort today," said Iowa Lakes coach Ashley Martin. "We played one of our best halves of the year today. We were firing on all cylinders and had a great effort. In the second half, I thought we fought hard but just couldn't find any rhythm. This is something we have struggled with all season is putting two good halves together.
Marissa Ruis led the Lakers with 16 points as she finished 6-of-11 from the field, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range. No other Laker reached double digits. Lauryn Smith finished with nine points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. All her points came from the free throw line, where she was 9-of-9.
Gabi Garcia also scored nine points while Brookelyn Hoeppner had eight, Mia Wassink had seven, Lemia Ntor-Ue had six, Shai'anye Wesley had four, Jackie Petrich and Tristyn Dunivant each had three and Bailey Trickel had two.
Ntor-Ue had 12 of the Lakers' 53 rebounds. Wassink had eight boards.
North Union crowd comes to watch Rolling
Former North Union standout Sarah Rolling had fans from her hometowns coming to watch her play for Iowa Central against Iowa Lakes on Wednesday. Rolling finished with five points, three rebounds, two blocked shots and an assist in the Tritons' win. In her first season with Iowa Central, Rolling has played in all 26 games and started 24. She is averaging 8.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per contest while shooting 50 percent from the field and 65 percent from the free throw line.
Iowa Lakes (10-18 overall, 2-10 in conference play) is home for a 5:30 p.m. game against Little Priest Tribal College.
The Lakers wrap up the regular seasons with home games against Des Moines Area Community College (5:30 p.m., Wednesday) and Kirkwood (1 p.m., Saturday).
Lakers come up short again
The Iowa Lakes women have competed in 14 game decided by less than 10 points and are 4-10 in those games.
The Lakers found themselves in a similar situation on Wednesday as Iowa Central came to town. After falling behind 21-7 in the first quarter, Iowa Lakes battled back within five, 46-41, with a 17-7 third quarter. However, Iowa Central was able to hang on down the stretch to pull out the 65-58 road win.
"We dug ourselves a deep hole in the first half," said Iowa Lakes coach Ashley Martin. " It was hard to overcome the deficit. We battled hard in the second half but just couldn't get over the hump. We will continue to improve on playing 40 minutes."
Iowa Lakes' Lemia Ntor-Ue was one Laker who was able to get off her shot as she finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. She finished 6-of-13 from the field and 11-of-17 from the free throw line.
Lauryn Smith chipped in 13 points while Marissa Ruiz had nine, Alicia Ibarra had six, Shai'anye Wesley had four and Mia Wassink had two.
The Lakers shot 29 percent (17-of-58) from the field including 35 percent (8-of-23) from 3-point range.
Iowa Central was more efficient, making 49 percent 923-of-470 from the field while also shooting 35 percent (7-of-20) from 3-point range.
The Lakers made more trips to the free throw line where they shot 59 percent (16-of-27) compared to 63 percent (12-of-19) for Iowa Central.