Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. – The Fontbonne University women's basketball team overcame a 15-point halftime deficit against Iowa Wesleyan to come away with the 56-54 win.
After struggling from the floor in the first half, the Griffins (8-8; 4-3 SLIAC) shot 58.8 percent from the field in the third and outscored the Tigers (2-12; 2-4 SLIAC) 24-3 which propelled them to the two-point victory.
Overall, the team shot 40.4 percent from the floor and were led by Kaitlynn Walker's team-high 14 points off the bench. Sarah Schraut went 4-of-6 to finish with 10 points and seven boards, while Riley Guffey added nine points. Katie Sportsman, meanwhile, led them on the glass with a season-high nine rebounds.
Despite having just one player come off the bench, IWU shot an impressive 64.3 percent from the floor in the first half. However, as the game continued on its field goal percentage started to diminish as they finished at 33.3 percent.
The Tigers were paced by Darby Massner's double-double performance with a game-high 16 points and 11 rebounds. Allie Massner and Caitlyn Welch added 11 each.
In the first quarter, Sportsman's jumper tied the game at 5-5 at 7:11. The Tigers, though rattled off a 15-5 run over the next five minutes to expand its lead out to 19-10. They maintained its double-digit lead the rest of the way, leading by 11 (26-15).
In the second, both teams shot under 30.0 percent from the field but a 5-0 run by Fontbonne put them down 26-20 on Mallory Proffer's 3-pointer. It was all IWU the rest of the way as they closed out on a 12-3 run to take a 38-23 lead into the break.
Things changed dramatically in the third with the Griffins offense finding its groove. The team went 10-of-17 from the floor, including using a 15-0 run in the first six minutes to tie the game at 38-38 on Paige Black's made basket.
Iowa Wesleyan got the lead back out to 41-38, however, the Griffins closed out the final four minutes on a 9-0 run to take a 47-41 advantage.
Throughout the fourth, the Griffins held its marginal lead throughout. With 12.0 seconds left, though the Tigers cut it down to 53-52 on Lastella Slack's jumper.
After a foul by IWU, Walker went to the line with 9.0 seconds on the clock and made her first shot. She missed the second, but the Tigers got the rebound and got fouled on the play.
Ahlia Tai had the chance to tie the game, however, she missed both free throws. Walker went on to ice the game with two more made free throws to give FBU a hard fought 56-54 win.
The team will return home in a key SLIAC outing next Wednesday night when they'll host Eureka. Tip-off goes up at 6 p.m.
Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the women's basketball team.