The Iowa Lakes women halted a nine-game skid with a 58-44 home victory over Ellsworth Community College on Wednesday.
The Lakers had been on the verge of breaking back into the win column the past four games, losing each by a handful of points. Wednesday's victory also avenged last week's 62-53 loss to the Panthers.
"We really needed this win to get our confidence back," said Iowa Lakes coach Nicole Bullock. "Tonight we finally believed we would win. Being at home helped."
Bullock said victory had been just beyond the team's reach the past few games by just two or three possessions.
"We finally believed full that we could win this," she said. Our defense down the stretch was solid, which has been our bread and butter."
The Lakers led by just two points, 26-24, at halftime. After stretching the lead to five points, 35-30, by the 15-minute mark, the Panthers rallied to tie the game at 35-5.
The Lakers went to the free throw line to score five of seven points in a 7-0 run. Iowa Lakes took a double digit lead, 48-37, on two free throws by Shaunte Tucker with 6:55 remaining and Ellsworth could never quite make a run.
Leah Courtney scored seven of the Lakers final 10 points while Nijala Johnson scored the other three from the free throw line to help seal the victory.
Courtney finished with a game-high 13 points along with eight rebounds and four assists. Tucker had 12 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in the contest. Johnson finished with 10 points and seven assists. Also Shabreka Edwards had eight points, Natasha Kindred and Tayler Boroson each had six and Carly Gilliland had three.
Iowa Lakes (5-19 overall) has a tough stretch traveling to sixth-ranked Iowa Central today and then hosting top-ranked North Iowa Area Community College on Wednesday followed by a road trip to seventh-ranked Kirkwood next Saturday.