The Iowa Wesleyan basketball teams played a couple of tough Iowa schools in their openers on Saturday evening. The Tiger women lost their game 63-46 against Beuna Vista University. The men fell 85-64 against Coe College.
The IW women had a slow start and trailed 14-6 after the first quarter, but the Tigers outscored Buena Vista 12-9 in the second quarter to cut the lead to 23-18 at halftime. Buena Vista led 41-34 after the third quarter and pulled away in the fourth to knock the Tigers off by 17.
“We have quite a bit of new players on the team, so it’s going to take a little bit of time for us to figure out where we’re at on the floor, get used to each other’s playing style and that sort of thing,” head coach Jack Bruns said after the loss. “Fortunately, I saw a lot of bright spots. Obviously there are a lot of things we can work on, but I think the things we need to work on are things we can get better at.”
Darby Massner led the team with 12 points and two blocks. She nearly hit the double-double mark, pulling down nine rebounds. Allie Massner had the fastest start of any Tiger offensively and finished the game with 11 points and six rebounds.
Deericka Martin had a nice game off the bench, scoring nine points on 4-5 shooting and stealing the ball twice. Harriet Fowler had nine points. Sarah Kavanh finished with three points and 10 rebounds, and Jordanne Mickley had two. Also seeing the floor for the girls was Da’Jaah Swolley.
The men faced a stacked Coe squad and had trouble keeping up with the Rams in the first half. Coe led 44-29 at hafltime and outscored the Tigers 41-35 in the second half. IW did make a game of it in the second half, cutting the lead to single digits before Coe pulled away.
Camron Mack had a strong showing in the opener, going 7-12 from the field and 4-7 from the three-point line to finish with 18 points. Alberto Torres had 12 points and three steals in the loss, and Austin Rebel finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Jake Neubauer scored eight points in the opener. Avree Clark finished with seven.Austin Banks had five poInts. Chris John finished with three, and Jarryd Fernandes had one point and six rebounds. Brian Patterson also saw the floor.
After the game, IW men’s coach Alex Huisman spoke about what his team did to cut it close in the second half before the eventual pull-away.
“I think the biggest thing in the second half was the guys kind of committed to doing the little things,” Huisman said. “A little better effort and a little better communication defensively. We needed to communicate. We didn’t do that in the first half.”
The Tiger women will play Coe on the road on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 6 p.m. The men’s team will play again on Friday, Nov. 16, in the first game of a tournament in Colorado Springs, tipping off at 8 p.m.