Iowa Wesleyan men top Cornell College at home
BY ANDY KRUTSINGER
Mt. Pleasant News
The crowd at Ruble Arena saw an entertaining back-and-forth basketball game on Monday night when the Iowa Wesleyan men took on Cornell College in a non-conference contest.
The Tigers stuck with the Rams in a high-scoring first half and pulled away late in the second to pick up their third straight win, 81-75.
IW started the game on a 9-4 run thanks to a three-point play by Brock Butler, two layups by Steven Soukup and a layup by C.J. Singletary.
The Rams battled back with a 14-2 run to take a seven-point lead at 18-11, which was the biggest lead of the half.
IW battled back and took the lead over again later in the half. Despite late three-pointers by Singletary and Marquis Jones, Cornell was able to get back to a tie game, at 42-42, going into the break.
Jones and Singletary each had double digits in the first half. Jones scored 11 points in the first 20 minutes and Singletary had 10.
The two teams were tied, 51-51, after the first five minutes of the second half, but Cornell scored 10 of the next 12 points to take their biggest lead of the game, at 61-53.
IW came back once more with a 10-1 run that ended with a three-pointer by Butler to give the Tigers a 63-62 lead with just over seven minutes remaining.
The two teams went back and forth with the lead over the next couple of minutes.
The Tigers trailed, 68-67 with five minutes left and Mitch Drey at the free throw line. He hit two shots from the charity stripe, which sparked an 8-0 run that gave IW a 75-68 lead with 2:34 left.
Cornell had one last run in them. The Rams capitalized on a couple of missed free throws and a Tiger turnover to cut the lead to 77-75 with 26 seconds left.
The Rams could never get the ball back with a shot to tie it, however, as Jones and Butler each hit a pair of free throws in the final 22 seconds to put the game on ice.
Five Tigers reached double digits in the win, led by Steven, who scored 16 points and pulled down six rebounds.
Jones and Mitch Drey scored 15 points each in the game. Butler had 14 points and five assists, and Singletary finished with 10.
Michael Soukup had six points in the win. Austin Walker had three and Elijah Johnson scored two.
The Tigers moved to 7-4 overall this season. They’ll have a long break before returning to conference play on Wednesday, Jan. 4, when they host Webster University at 8 p.m. The Tigers are currently 3-1 in the SLIAC.