No. 1 NIACC outlasts Iowa Central women

The No. 9 Iowa Central women may have played one of its better offensive games of the season here on Saturday inside Hodges Fieldhouse, but so did top-rated NIACC.

The Tritons (24-5 overall, 12-4 ICCAC) couldn’t find an answer to the Trojans’ (28-2, 16-0) fast-paced attack, dropping a 108-105 contest in the regular season finale.

Chelsey Jacox paced the Trojans with a program-record 45 points. Jacox, a University of San Francisco recruit, was 11-for-16 from the line.

In two games against the Tritons this season, Jacox had 86 points.

“Jacox had 31 on us up there. She’s just uncanny,” said Iowa Central head coach Craig Carlson. “She can hit the mid-range jumper and hit the three. She is a legit D-1 player.

“We may have played our best game on the offensive end especially, but I think they played their best game as well.”

Ashley Ray, who is starting in place of injured St. Edmond graduate Theresa Doyle, had 23 points to lead the Tritons. Teammate Babaye Oja turned in a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Katie Dentlinger had 22 points. Miliakere Koyamainavure had 19 points and five assists. Chayil Henderson had 10 points.

Jasmine Binon had 10 rebounds for Iowa Central.

“It was pressure for 40 minutes,” Carlson said. “They did a great job shutting down (Lydia) Harvey.

“We were right there with the best team in the nation.”

The Tritons will open the regional tournament on Tuesday inside Hodges Fieldhouse against an opponent to be determined. They’ll also host the final four tournament on Friday and Saturday.