IW men fall to first-place Eureka

EUREKA, Ill. ? In Saturday afternoon?s men?s basketball action, Iowa Wesleyan faced off against the Red Devils of Eureka College. The Tigers were looking to bounce back from a close loss to Fontbonne, but they would have their work cut out for them, as Eureka entered the day as one of the top teams in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings.

Iowa Wesleyan jumped out to a quick lead, scoring a layup on the first possession of the game. Jake Neubauer followed up with a three-pointer to give IW a five-point advantage. The team?s traded the lead early, but Eureka went ahead by one with 15:11 left. The Red Devils were able to build a eleven point advantage. Brock Butler sparked the Tiger offense with eight straight points to bring the score to 32-35 with 10:50 left in the first half.

Eureka answered with a run of their own and extended their lead back to twelve points with 6:46 on remaining. Iowa Wesleyan was able to cut the deficit back down to five points after a pair of free throws by Camron Mack. The Tiger defense gave up another run to Eureka, and the Red Devils ended the half with a 59-46 advantage.

Mitchell Drey opened the second half with three for the Tigers, bringing the Eureka lead down to ten points. The Red Devils picked up the intensity and built their lead to 22 points with 16:07 on the clock. Drey hit back-to-back threes for IW, and Brock Butler came up with a steal on defense and hit a three of his own to bring the score to 76-61.

Iowa Wesleyan continued to chip away at the Eureka lead, and with 9:23 remaining, Butler hit a jumper to get the lead down to single digits. Jake Neubauer sank a three-pointer to put IW within eight points, but Eureka answered with a three of their own. The Red Devils extended their lead back to 17 points.

The Tigers did not give up, putting together a late run. Iowa Wesleyan would get the lead back down to eight but ran out of time and suffered a 101-110 loss to the Red Devils.

Butler recorded back to back games with over 30 points, as well as his second double-double in three games. Butler led all scorers with 32 points on 13-20 shooting from the field. He sank five three pointers and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Tigers. Neubauer was 10-20 from the field and finished with 28 points in the loss.

Iowa Wesleyan will return to Ruble Arena on Jan. 17, when they host MacMurray College at 8 pm. The Tigers are now 2-13 overall and 2-6 in conference play.