Triton women return to the court

EAST PEORIA, Ill. – Looking to bounce back and extend its season, the eighth-seeded Iowa Central women’s basketball team returns to action this morning at the NJCAA Div. II National Championships.

The Tritons (24-9 overall) will square off with No. 16 seed North Platte (Neb.) in the consolation bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

Tip is set for 11 a.m. at the Illinois Central College CougarPlex Fitness Center.

In its tourney opener Tuesday afternoon, Iowa Central saw its six-game winning streak snapped in a hard-fought 87-84 setback to ninth-seeded and two-time defending national champion Monroe (N.Y.). Katie Dentlinger sparked the Tritons with 18 points, while Lydia Harvey (St. Edmond) and Babaye Oja each added 16.

Iowa Central, which is making its fourth-ever national tournament appearance, actually led the Mustangs by 21 points in the first half before falling short. Despite going 11-for-26 outside the arc, the Region XI champion Tritons went just 15 of 28 from the charity stripe and were outrebounded, 61-41.

The Lady Knights (15-15) suffered a 63-35 setback to top-seeded Mesa (Ari.) in their first tournament game. Paige Hasty led the way for North Platte with 18 points.

Today’s winner advances to meet either No. 5 seed Lake Michigan (25-7) or 13th-seeded Elgin (26-3) Friday at 1 p.m.