DES MOINES, Iowa – Balanced scoring, including 27 points from the bench, lifted AIB to a 70-66 Midwest Collegiate Conference win over 18th-ranked St. Ambrose University Wednesday night at the AIB Activities Center.
The win improves the Eagles to 4-16 overall and 2-4 in conference play. The Queen Bees move to 17-4 on the season, including a 4-2 mark in the MCC.
With the scored tied at 20 all with 5:39 remaining in the opening frame, AIB went on a 21-7, run fueled by five-consecutive points from sophomore forward Arriel Hunter (Queen Creek, Ariz./Florernce), to take a 41-27 lead at the half.
St. Ambrose answered with a 14-6 run to open the second half, closing get within six points at 47-41 with 12:02 remaining.
The Eagles went up by nine points (50-41) off a jumper by freshman forward Christen Jones (Detroit, Mich./Lewis Cass) before another 14-6 run brought the Queen Bee’s within one (56-55) with 4:09 on the clock.
After the ensuing Eagle timeout, junior guard Morgan Hansen (Dayton, Iowa/Southeast Webster) hit back-to-back jumpers to give AIB a five point lead (60-55) with 3:17 remaining in the game.
Following two St. Ambrose free-throws, Jones connected on a jumper, giving AIB a five-point lead (62-57) and collected a block on the defensive end to help the Eagles maintain the lead.
Hansen connected on two free-throws to put AIB up by six, 64-58, at the 2:03 mark.
St. Ambrose came within one, 65-64, on a jumper by Samantha Saladino with 29 seconds remaining, but would get no closer.
The Eagles connected on 5-of-6 free-throws down the stretch for the 70-66 victory.
AIB was led by senior guard India Shivers (Fort Dodge, Iowa/Fort Dodge) with 13 points and three steals. Senior guard McKinsey Nessa (Huxley, Iowa/Ballard) and Hunter added 10 points each and freshman guard Alexyss Burkhartsmeier (Las Cruces, N.M./Onate) added eight points and a team-high three assists. Senior forward Hannah Redenius (Ida Grove/Battle Creek-Ida Grove) collected a team-high eight rebounds.
AIB shot 35.0 percent from the floor, connecting on 21-of-60 shots and St. Ambrose was 19-of-50 for 38 percent. The Queen Bees were 16.7 percent from beyond the arc on 2-of-12 shooting, while AIB was 7-of-16 for 43.8 percent. St. Ambrose held advantages in rebounds (43-40) and blocks (5-2), while AIB led in assists (12-11) and steals (10-9).
From the line the Eagles were 21-of-32 (.656) for the game and the St. Ambrose was 26-of-36 (.722) from the charity stripe.
The Eagles continue conference play, traveling to Mount Mercy University Saturday (Jan. 26). Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.