MT. PLEASANT — After an elongated offseason during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Iowa Wesleyan women’s basketball team finally hit the floor on Saturday. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they had a tough opening matchup, as Coe College came to town and beat IW 78-57.
Coe exploded for 58 first-half points. The Kohawks led 24-12 after the first period and 58-26 at halftime. The Tigers played much better in the second half, outscoring Coe 13-6 in the third quarter and 18-14 in the fourth.
Freshman post player Ani’ja Simmons led the Tigers with 17 points and nine rebounds on the day. She was one of four Tigers to make their IW debut.
“I saw them work through some first game jitters and find some confidence, not only that they can play at the college level, but they can be successful,” said IW head coach Temaine Wright. “I think you will see more of what the young ladies can do as they continue to get more experience under their belts.”
Morgan McCrea, the leading returner for the Tigers, put up 16 points in the loss. New Tigers Asantee Tillman and Hannah Sykora scored five points and four points respectively. Sydney Farrar scored four, and Harriet Fowler finished with three. Freshman guard Taylor Wiatrak pulled down one rebound in her IW debut.
“We were just excited to be able to lay some basketball,” said Wright. “Eight months ago, we weren’t sure this would happen. Now that we’re here, let’s enjoy every minute of it.”
IW will be back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to Wartburg College for another nonconference game.