By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
FULTON, Mo. ? Wednesday night?s men?s basketball action had the Iowa Wesleyan Tigers facing off against the Westminster Blue Jays. In the first meeting between the two teams, the Blue Jays handed the Tigers a five-point loss. IW was hoping for a different outcome tonight, but unfortunately, the Tigers fell 66-79.
Elijah Johnson kicked off the Tiger offense with a three-pointer in IW?s first possession, but the offense would fail to score for the next three minutes and the Blue Jays would take the lead. Mitchell Drey scored on a layup and Brock Butler had the next five points for the team, putting the Tigers ahead 10-8. With just over thirteen minutes remaining in the first half, Camron Mack tied the game up with a jumper. Westminster went on a 10-0 run before Butler finally hit a jumper with 9:06 to go.
The Tigers mounted a run of their own and Butler brought Iowa Wesleyan within four points of the Blue Jay lead with 4:34 on the clock. Westminster?s offense took off again, and IW was held to just six points for the remainder of the first half. Iowa Wesleyan trailed 31-45 as the teams headed to the locker rooms.
Iowa Wesleyan?s offense got hot to start the second half. Mitchell Drey opened the half with a jumper, and Butler had nine straight points for the Tigers to cut the Blue Jay lead to five points. Westminster built their lead back up to eleven points, but Camron Mack answered with a three-pointer for the Tigers to spark another offensive run.
With just under 12 minutes remaining in the game, Iowa Wesleyan was back within five points of the Blue Jay lead after a pair of free throws by Butler. The Tigers would get no closer, however, and Westminster would see their lead grow to as many as 18 points. Iowa Wesleyan?s final points came off a free throw by Andre Van Hook with 15 seconds left, bringing the final score to 66-79 in favor of the Blue Jays.
Brock Butler led all scorer?s with 33 points after going 13-19 from the field and 4-9 from behind the arc. Butler was 3-3 from the free throw line and he also grabbed seven rebounds in the loss. Mitchell Drey and Camron Mack each finished with eight points for the Tigers.
Iowa Wesleyan drops to 5-17 overall and 5-10 in SLIAC play with the loss to the Blue Jays.