It was a tale of two games for the IVCC men’s and women’s basketball teams Tuesday against Black Hawk East.
While the men cruised to a 85-66 victory, the women dominated the last eight minutes to come away with a 56-55 victory.
IVCC 56, Black Hawk East 55
It was not pretty, but it doesn’t have to be as long as the end goal is achieved.
That was the case for the Lady Eagles as the first 32 minutes weren’t very smooth sailing.
At one point in the second half, IVCC trailed 46-32 and IVCC’s top player, Arnisha Thomas, sat the last 14:54 of the first half with two fouls and also sat for a good portion of the second half.
However, it was foul trouble and pressure defense that that turned the night around for IVCC.
Marquette graduate and IVCC freshman Jessica Jessen had a solid night for the Lady Eagles and her 3-pointer cut the deficit to 40-39.
Later, Thomas hit for her first points of the game with 3:47 to cap off a 19-3 run and tie the game at 49.
“We played eight minutes in this game I thought,” said IVCC coach Pat Cinotte, who won his 100th career game at IVCC. “We had major foul trouble in this game, but this team just found a way to win. We didn’t play that well for 32 minutes, but give the girls credit, they did what they had to. We were aggressive and got them to foul out a couple of girls and then got after things offensively from there.”
Later, Thomas hit a short jump shot followed by 1 of 2 free throws, and a stick back by Jessen followed with a 15-foot jump shot gave the Lady Eagles a 54-51 lead.
BHE’s Shannon Sellers then hit a long-range shot with her foot on the 3-point line allowing IVCC to keep a one-point edge over the Lady Warriors.
In the closing seconds, Thomas followed by hitting two free throws with seconds remaining to give IVCC the 56-55 lead.
An errant BHE inbounds pass with made everyone in the gym hold their breath as a last second shot fell short and giving IVCC the victory.
“I thought C.J. (Rhodes) played an outstanding game tonight,” Cinnote said. “She hit some big baskets and then got a couple steals to go along with nice passes into the post at much needed times.”
Jessen scored a team-high 14 points for IVCC, while Ottawa grad Asya Williams had a game-high 10 rebounds but left with a possible concussion.
IVCC 85, Black Hawk East 66
The Eagles never trailed as Corey McCrary, Josh Fenoglia and St. Bede grad Alec Schwab all collected early steals that were converted into buckets as IVCC took a quick 6-0 lead,
Schwab followed with a bucket and a 3-pointer to extend the IVCC advantage.
“We kind of thought that with only six guys dressed tonight that they would come out in a 2-3 zone and they did, but that’s not what you really want to give against a guy like Alec Schwab,” IVCC coach Tommy Canale said. “With the guys playing tough defense on them early on and getting some hot shooting got us going early on.”
Two baskets from BHE’s Savuyun Ingles cut the lead to 11-9, but the Eagles responded with a 3-pointer from JoVonn Griffin and then a 3-pointer from Nick Fenney to push the lead to 26-15.
Despite a nasty ankle injury that doctors would have hoped to see Michael Murray rest, he showed no signs of injury as he soared above the rim on an ally-oop dunk to put the Eagles up 36-25.
McCrary then hit a 3-pointer of his own with time running out in the first half that gave IVCC a 43-28 lead at the break.
Just a minute in the second half, Schwab again drained a 3 to give IVCC a 48-28 lead over the Warriors.
“Yeah, I like when teams play a zone defense against us,” a smiling Schwab said. “It really frees things up to let the 3-point shots go up. We got some pretty good shooters on this team and they are more than willing to fire them up anytime we can.”
Ingles picked up some dunks in the second half, but the Warriors never pulled closer than 14 points.
“Anytime you get 32 assists as a team that means you are spreading the ball around and trusting your teammates to hit the shots,” Schwab said. “On top of 32 assists, we also had just eight turnovers so a 4-to-1 ratio is a great team game.”
Schwab led all scorers with 28 points and seven boards. Murray added 18 points and 13 boards, while Finney finished with 10 points.
Brad Martin Sr. can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.