By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
WAVERLY ? The Iowa Wesleyan men?s basketball team competed at the Buzz Levick Classic in Waverly over the weekend. The Tigers fell 104-84 to Aurora University on Friday and dropped Saturday?s game against Crown College 93-61.
The Tigers looked good early in Friday?s opener. IW led Aurora by as much as six points early in the game, leading 19-13 thanks in part to nine early points from Jake Neubauer.
Brock Butler got hot midway through the first half and the Tigers continued to hold on to the lead. IW went up double digits on a Jarryd Fernandez layup with 8:05 remaining in the half, and went up 11 points, at 41-30, thanks to a three-pointer from Fernandes with 6:28 showing on the clock.
The Tiger lead was cut down to as low as six points with four minutes remaining, but a three from Camron Mack and a layup by Alexander Flute stretched the lead back to 11 points at 48-37.
The Tigers went cold for the final three minutes of the first half. That allowed Aurora to find their offense, and the lead was eventually chipped down to four points at 48-44, where it would stay until the break.
IW went 18-27 from the field and 7-10 from three-point land in the first half, but the shots didn?t quite fall in the second period.
The Tigers were just 13-34 in the second half and 3-13 from beyond the arc. Aurora took advantage in a big way, especially early in the half.
Aurora went on an 18-2 run to start the second half. The Tigers battled back to cut the lead to five points on two separate occasions, but could never get the lead back.
The cold shooting allowed Aurora to pull away late in the second half, stretching the lead to as high as 22 points before eventually walking out with a 104-84 win.
Butler led the Tigers with 30 points on 10-17 shooting and 4-6 from down town. He also led IW with seven rebounds and a block, as well as co-leading the squad with three assists.
Fernandez ended the game with 12 points. Neubauer finished with 11, and Mack had 10 points to give the Tigers double-digit scorers.
Austin Rebel scored seven points in the loss. Avree Clark had six points and four rebounds. Austin Banks had four points and three assists, and Flute finished with four points.
The Tigers carried their cold shooting into the first half of Saturday?s game. IW went 10-29 from the field and 2-11 from three-point land in the first half, and Crown opened up a double-digit lead. At the break, Crown led 39-27.
The Tigers couldn?t get things going in the second half. They went 13-32 from the field and 1-6 from down town in the final period, allowing Crown to run away with a 93-61 win.
Butler led the team again with 27 points and three steals. He finished 10-22 from the field and 2-9 from beyond the arc. Clark had eight points and three steals to finish second on the team in scoring.
Neubauer scored six points and pulled down a team-leading eight rebounds in Saturday?s loss. Mack had five points. Fernandez had four points, four rebounds and three steals. Banks had four points and four rebounds.
Flute had three points in Saturday?s loss. Rebel and Lachlan Cassidy each finished the game with two points, and Cassidy added four rebounds.
The Tiger men will be back in action tonight (Tuesay) in Dubuque. That game is set to start at 7 p.m.