MASON CITY - The NIACC women’s basketball team is on a five-game winning streak heading into Wednesday’s Region XI home contest against Southeastern.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. in the NIACC gym.
“We’ve really come together as a team in the last couple of weeks,” NIACC coach Kelli Terrell said. “We are healthy, rested and our bench is playing with confidence.
“Southeastern will come here with some added motivation – the final four is on their home court. So they want to get to that game.”
The winner of Wednesday’s contest plays either top-seeded Kirkwood or No. 8 Ellsworth at 6 p.m. Friday in Keokuk in the Region XI semifinals. The championship game is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday in Keokuk.
NIACC (18-12 overall, 11-5 in the ICCAC) earned the fourth seed in the regional tournament.
Point guard Chelsey Jacox (Plymouth, Minn.) averages 14.1 points per game to lead NIACC. She also leads team with 106 assists and is second on the team with 66 steals.
Southeastern (16-14, 7-9) is the tourney’s fifth seed. Ksenia Sharan averages 10.9 points per game to lead the Blackhawks.
NIACC splits its two regular season meetings with Southeastern. Southeastern topped NIACC 58-55 on Jan. 16 in Keokuk and NIACC stopped the Blackhawks 70-55 on Feb. 16 in Mason City.
“We are playing much better basketball now,” Terrell said. “I would say this is the best we’ve played all year.
“Our girls have the right mindset going into the tournament. They know each game will be a battle.”
WEDNESDAY’S FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS
No. 8 Ellsworth (11-19, 4-12) at No. 1 Kirkwood (26-4, 15-1)
No. 5 Southeastern (16-14, 7-9) at No. 4 NIACC (18-12, 11-5)
No. 6 Marshalltown (11-19, 6-10) at No. 3 Iowa Central (21-8, 12-4)
No. 7 Iowa Lakes (9-21, 5-11) at No. 2 DMACC (23-7, 12-4).
Note - Winners of the four first-round games meet in the semifinals at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday in Keokuk. The championship game is set for 3 p.m. Saturday in Keokuk.