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Neighbors Growing Together | Feb 27, 2017

Tiger men smoke Spalding

Jan 31, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger C.J. Singletary handles the ball during Iowa Wesleyan’s 101-75 win over Spalding on Saturday evening.

BY ANDY KRUTSINGER

Mt. Pleasant News

It was all Iowa Wesleyan on Saturday evening in the men’s game against Spalding.

The Tigers raced out to a huge lead in the first half and coasted in the second en route to a 101-75 victory.

The Tigers scored 15 of the first 20 points to get out to a 15-5 lead in the first half. IW went 9-17 from three-point land and got plenty of fastbreak layups, allowing them to keep stretching the lead until the halftime buzzer sounded.

IW led, 52-31, at the break and never looked back. The Tigers built their lead to as much as 31 points, at 77-48, with 11:25 remaining in the game.

After the game, Head Coach Alex Huisman talked about the keys to a start-to-finish victory.

“I think our focus from the beginning (was key),” Huisman said. “The guys were ready to play. We had a couple of good days of practice and they were ready to play.

Huisman also spoke of the challenge of guarding Spalding star Nick Trisko, a 6’8”, 250 lbs. center who had a huge size advantage over the Tigers’ posts.

IW was able to hold the big man relatively quiet in the first half, allowing just 10 points, before Trisko started to get points down the stretch when the game was out of hand to finish at 28.

“He’s a really good player,” Huisman said. “We just challenged Austin (Walker) and Mitch (Drey) to keep him from catching the ball. Once he catches it, there is nothing we can do.”

This week was also Coaches vs. Cancer week, which gave the Tiger men a chance to recognize 2016 graduate Joe Lennon, who was just recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Lennon is a former player, and was in attendance on Saturday. The school wore shirts to honor Lennon and also sold shirts at the door.

“It’s a scary situation, but Joe has handled it the same way he’s handled everything else,” Huisman said after the game. “Joe would give absolutely everything for the guys in this locker room…To do something for him is just hopefully a way to show our appreciation for what he has done for us and what he means to the program.”

Steven Soukup had yet another huge day, scoring 43 points and pulling down five rebounds in the win. Another great week led him to his third SLIAC player of the week award, the most of anybody so far.

Brock Butler scored 17 points in the win. C.J. Singletary had 10. Drey and Walker scored nine apiece. Michael Soukup scored eight points and dished out six assists. Patrick Anderson had three and Elijah Johnson scored two.

The Panthers moved to 13-6 overall with the win and 9-3 in SLIAC play, which moved them into first place in the conference. They will travel to Principia College today (Tues.) to try to get revenge for their home loss earlier this year. That game starts at 7 p.m.

 

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