This weekend sets up for a showdown between the two remaining undefeated teams in women's basketball league play and is this week's SLIAC Game of the Week; Iowa Wesleyan College vs. Spalding University.
This week's SLIAC Game of the Week features the top two teams in the SLIAC Women's Basketball standings and the two preseason favorites squaring off as Spalding University will host Iowa Wesleyan College on Saturday, January 10. Both teams are a perfect 4-0 in conference play with Spalding starting the week 6-3 overall and Iowa Wesleyan currently at 7-4 overall.
About Iowa Wesleyan
After dropping their first three games of the year Iowa Wesleyan has hit their stride, winning seven of their next eight games. Their only loss over that stretch was to #5 Washington University-St. Louis. Iowa Wesleyan starts the week with a 7-4 record and will start their busy week with games against MacMurray (Tuesday) and at Webster (Thursday).
The Tigers are the league's top outside shooting team, averaging 9.4 three pointers made per game and shooting 37.1 percent from the outside as a team. They are averaging 61.5 points per game this season, shooting 38.7 percent from the field as a team. Defending SLIAC Player of the Year Karla Vietinghoff is once again leading the way for the Tigers, averaging a team high 14.3 points per game. Whitney Godden has proven to be one of the league's top outside threats, hitting on 51-percent of her three-point attempts and averaging 11.4 points per game this year. Dakota Flesner is averaging 5.3 points and a team high 6.1 rebounds per game.
Spalding starts their week with a 6-3 overall record and will start a four game home stand on Tuesday against Fontbonne. They will also host Blackburn on Thursday before welcoming Iowa Wesleyan to town for their showdown. The Golden Eagles have won two straight games, defeating Eureka 63-37 and Principia 60-42.
Spalding is averaging 62.3 points per game this season but are the league's top defensive squad, holding their opponents to a conference best 52.3 points per game on just 34-percent shooting. The physical Golden Eagles are led by the athletic inside duo of Kayla Styles and Jessica Guy. Styles, a transfer from Xavier, is averaging 15.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game while also dishing out a team high 2.4 assists per game. Not to be out done is Styles defense, where she ranks fourth and third in the league in steals and blocked shots. Guy, the SLIAC Tournament MVP last year, is averaging 11.0 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while Brandy Hunter is the team's top outside threat, averaging 7.2 points per game and hitting on 36.1 percent of her three's.
- Iowa Wesleyan won both meetings against Spalding last year, leading the all-time series 2-0.
- Iowa Wesleyan has won 17 consecutive conference games and 21 of 22 games since joining the SLIAC last year.
- Despite going 17-1 in SLIAC play last year Iowa Wesleyan did not make the postseason tournament due to the fact they were in their first year of the league. Spalding took advantage and claimed the 2014 SLIAC Tournament title, hosting the event.
- Spalding is one of the more physical teams in the league and like to get the ball inside. The Golden Eagles average a conference high 22 free-throw attempts per game and are the top offensive rebounding team, averaging 17.3 per game.
- After leading the conference in scoring last year (69.1 ppg) Iowa Wesleyan ranks just 7th this year (61.5 ppg).
- Spalding's Kayla Styles is the only player in the SLIAC to rank in the top five in scoring, rebounding, steals, and blocks.