WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- It was not a pretty game on the offensive end for either team as No. 1-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University women's basketball held off No. 23-ranked St. Thomas (Fla.) University 45-39 this afternoon in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The Wildcat defense was a little bit better than the Bobcats on Friday to improve to 14-1 on the season. The IWU defense limited St. Thomas (10-4) to just 29.8-percent (14 of 47) shooting and forced 14 turnovers. The 39 points for the Bobcats was 38 points under their season average.
Indiana Wesleyan also struggled offensively at 32.5-percent (13 of 40) shooting but did nail 13-of-14 (92.9-percent) from the free throw line. The 45 points for IWU was 15 less than its single game low in 2011 when Indiana Wesleyan scored 59 points in a win versus Xavier (La.) University.
Senior guard Stephanie Burtch kept Indiana Wesleyan afloat in the first half with 12 points. All her points came from her four 3-pointers. She finished the half with more than half of IWU's points as the Wildcats went into halftime up 21-16. Burtch finished with a team-high 16 points.
The only other Wildcat in double figures was junior guard Claire Freeman with 12. Senior center Krystal Stoneking added nine points and nine boards while senior guard Ashley Brooks contributed six points and four assists.
Both teams heavily relied on the starting five. Each team registered just two points from its bench as only four bench players for the two teams combined saw the floor.
Indiana Wesleyan returns to Indiana to begin Mid-Central College Conference play once again. IWU opens a three-game week on Tuesday, January 3 with an away game at Huntington (Ind.) University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.