By Andy Krutsinger,
Mt. Pleasant News
ST. LOUIS Mo. ? The Iowa Wesleyan men clawed all the way back from a 12-point halftime deficit on Wednesday night at Webster University. The Tigers ran out of steam shortly after tying the game, however, and the Gorloks were able to put IW away, 78-68.
IW was able to keep pace with Webster in the first 10 minutes, thanks in part to two three-pointers by Brock Butler and two threes from Jake Neubauer. The second three from Neubauer gave the Tigers a 22-20 lead in the middle of the first half.
Webster started to heat up late in the half, however, and built a double-digit lead before the halftime buzzer rang. A two-point jumper from Webster?s Nigel Wilcox made it 45-33 with nine seconds left, and the Tigers went into the break at a 12-point deficit.
IW started the second half on an 11-4 run, capped off by five-straight points from Butler. The Gorloks responded with a 7-0 run of their own and Webster led 56-44 with 12:24 remaining.
IW began to battle back again. Elijah Johnson hit a couple of three-pointers to spark a run, and the Tigers eventually tied the game at 66-66 when Austin Rebel completed a three-point play with 4:25 remaining.
Webster?s Christian Crespo hit a three-pointer on the next Gorlok posession and the Tigers went cold on their end. Webster finished the game on a 12-2 run and IW fell to 1-11 overall and 1-4 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Butler finished with 22 points on 8-18 shooting and 4-10 from behind the three-point line. Rebel collected a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Neubauer scored 10 points and led the team with two steals. Elijah Johnson scored 10 points of his own. Jarryd Fernandes scored seven points, and Austin Banks finished with four points and a team-leading five assists.
The IW men are currently tied in eighth place out of nine teams at 1-4 in the SLIAC. The Tigers will take on Westminster on Saturday. The Blue Jays are currently in a three-way tie with Eureka and Greenville in first place, at 4-1. That game will begin at 3 p.m., with the women?s game preceding it.