Small College Sports

Big second half propels Kirkwood women's basketball to win over DMACC

No. 10 Eagles post 30-point third quarter in 63-37 victory

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Kirkwood women’s basketball team has won 12 of its last 14 games, but Coach Kim Muhl is not entirely pleased with how it got there.

“They are trying to grow up and I make them grow up faster than they want to,” Muhl said after the 10th-ranked Eagles defeated DMACC, 63-37, in an Iowa Community College Athletic Conference game Wednesday night at Johnson Hall. “They’ve got to compete. When they compete, they are pretty damn good. When they don’t compete and they want to be lazy and not guard and not run the damn court, they are going to get beat.”

There was plenty of dissatisfaction to go around in a first half in which Kirkwood (13-5, 3-0 ICCAC) scored just 22 points. Still, the Eagles took a five-point lead into the locker room.

Kirkwood started the second half with a 25-3 burst and finished with 30 points in the third quarter.

“We definitely picked up our intensity,” Kirkwood sophomore guard Anasha Hurst said. “We had to play better defense and just come together as a team. … We were moving the ball a lot more and picked it up on defense. That togetherness and playing together as a team. We were kind of getting frustrated because we were getting a lot of turnovers and we cut down on that in the second half, as well.”

Hurst led the Eagles with six assists and four steals, while a pair of freshmen — Minneapolis native Ju Gaston and former North Linn prep Ashley Tull — scored 14 points apiece. Tull and West Branch graduate Haley Mullinnix each grabbed five rebounds.

Sophomore Aliyah Robinson, who played her high school ball at Waterloo West, had 14 points for DMACC (6-9, 1-2).

Kirkwood visits Southwestern on Saturday.

“We still have a long way to go,” Hurst said. “Getting better every day. I feel like if we just keep growing as a team and working together and listening to coach, we’re going to end up being well off at the end.”

AT JOHNSON HALL

No. 10 Kirkwood 66, DMACC 37

DMACC (37): Asia Mena 3-8 1-2 8, Aliyah Robinson 6-13 0-0 14, Grace Stalzer 2-6 0-0 5, Emma Rouse 0-3 0-0 0, Ellie Horn 0-3 2-2 2, Sameria Jackson 1-5 0-0 2, Bethany Evans 0-1 0-1 0, Taylor Abernathy 0-3 0-0 0, Hannah McKinney 2-4 1-1 6, Reganne Brewster 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 14-46 4-5 37.

KIRKWOOD (63): Mackenzie Jenkins 4-6 0-0 10, Ju Gaston 5-5 0-0 14, Anasha Hurst 1-10 0-0 2, Haley Mullinnix 2-6 0-0 6, Ashley Tull 7-9 0-0 14, Paige Bradford 2-4 0-0 4, Amara Lipsey 0-2 0-0 0, Jheda Kennedy 1-2 0-0 2, Johanna Myers 1-1 1-2 4, Natalie Tomaszewski 0-1 0-0 0, Leah Robinson 3-3 2-2 8, Brianna Mensen 1-1 0-0 2, Totals 27-50 3-4 66.

DMACC 10 7 13 7—37

Kirkwood 14 8 30 14—66

Halftime — Kirkwood, 22-17. Three-point goals — DMACC 5-18 (Robinson 2-6, Stalzer 1-1, McKinney 1-2, Mena 1-3, Abernathy 0-1, Evans 0-1, Jackson 0-1, Rouse 0-3); Kirkwood 9-22 (Gaston 4-4, Jenkins 2-3, Mullinnix 2-6, Myers 1-1, Bradford 0-1, Kennedy 0-1, Tomaszewski 0-1, Lipsey 0-2, Hurst 0-3). Rebounds — DMACC 20 (Jackson 6); Kirkwood 31 (Mullinnix 5, Tull 5). Turnovers — DMACC 23, Kirkwood 24. Total fouls — DMACC 5, Kirkwood 8. Fouled out — None.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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