The Southwestern women made a move for the league’s final postseason playoff position Saturday with a 52-51 home victory over Iowa Lakes.
The two teams were tied for eighth place in the league at 1-7 coming into Saturday’s action. Eight teams qualify for postseason play. Overall, Southwestern improved to 5-16 overall, while Iowa Lakes fell to 4-19.
SWCC coach Addae Houston said the victory was satisfying, because of the previous loss to the Lakers in Estherville, and the chance to compete for the regional tournament for the first time in four years.
“We were tied at the bottom of the conference and we talked about that before the game,” Houston said. “You have to learn to play for those kinds of moments. They beat us by 17 up there. We had three days to prepare for them this time and I think that made a difference. We were able to compete.”
Southwestern trailed 26-22 at halftime. Houston said the Spartans weren’t rebounding well enough in the opening 20 minutes.
Darian Polson and Jill Vanderhoof each scored twice in the opening minutes to push the Spartans in front, 28-26.
But the Lakers assumed control again to take a 41-36 lead with seven minutes to play.
Kristin Klocksiem and Jordan Williamson hit back-to-back 3-pointers as Southwestern rallied to take a 45-43 lead with 3:10 left. Iowa Lakes answered with a pair of 3-pointers, the second one with 18 seconds left to tie it at 51-51.
Southwestern’s Morgan Knorr was fouled driving to the basket with 10 seconds left and made one of two free throws for the final 52-51 margin, but the game didn’t end without a dramatic finish.
Iowa Lakes advanced the ball, but it was knocked out of bounds with .7 of a second left. The inbounds pass went to Tayler Boroson of the Lakers, who launched an errant 3-point shot at the buzzer.
“I knew at that point they had to throw it out and catch and shoot,” Houston said. “I saw the shot drifting right the second it left her hand. I said, that’s a miss, and I started running out on the court already. They were excited. They knew what they were playing for. One of our main goals this year is to get into the conference tournament.”
The Spartans travel to Northeast Nebraska Wednesday.
IOWA LAKES (51) — Leah Courtney 5 4-7 14, Shabreka Edwards 5 2-4 12, Nijala Johnson 4 0-0 8, Sobrina West 2 1-2 6, Alissa Johnson 1 3-6 5, Macy Dahl 1 0-0 3, Natasha Kindred 1 0-0 2, Aliyah Gipson 0 1-2 1. Totals — 19 11-21 51. 3-point goals — 2 (Dahl 1, West 1). Team fouls — 17. Fouled out — None.
SOUTHWESTERN (52) — Morgan Knorr 6 5-7 17, Jill Vanderhoof 3 4-4 11, Jordan Williamson 2 3-4 9, Kristin Klocksiem 2 3-4 8, Darian Polson 2 0-0 4, J’myrehea Douglas 0 3-4 3. Totals — 13 18-23 52. 3-point goals — 4 (Williamson 2, Vanderhoof 1, Klocksiem 1). Team fouls — 17. Fouled out — None.
ILCC — 26 51
SWCC — 22 52