Tigers top Panthers, 140-119, in highest scoring game in IW history
BY ANDY KRUTSINGER
Mt. Pleasant News
No game in the history of Ruble Arena has ever had a score as high as Saturday’s men’s game between the Tigers and the Greenville Panthers.
The IW men played the high-scoring Panthers in a SLIAC home game, and although the game was being played at a Panther pace, it was the Tigers who came out ahead, 140-119.
IW jumped out to a big lead early. The Tigers started the game on a 22-9 run, thanks in part to seven points from Michael Soukup and back-to-back threes by Brock Butler.
IW led by as much as 15 points, at 44-29, but the Panthers were able to utilize their full court press to storm back to take a lead late in the half.
When the clock hit zero in the first half, the Tigers trailed 64-62.
The two teams caught their breath during the break and they were back off to the races in the second half.
Once again it was IW who had the upper hand in the early minutes, but this time Greenville was unable to battle back.
The Tigers solved the Greenville press and got open layup after open layup en route to a 78-point half to reach their highest mark in school history at 140 points.
After the win, Tiger coach Alex Huisman talked about not settling for outside shots and exploiting the Greenville press for easy layups.
“If we move the basketball and make one pass at a time, we could end up getting a layup every possession,” Huisman said. “We didn’t shoot a three the entire second half.”
Huisman also talked about the challenges of playing a Greenville team that played 16 players throughout the game, subbing five-at-a-time every couple of minutes.
“They’re going to rotate in a lot of guys,” Huisman said. “We’ve got a short bench. I credit the guys. They still played a lot of minutes, but they battled. We had a couple guys step up off the bench and play really well.”
Steven Soukup had a monster game, scoring 44 points and bringing down 10 rebounds in the win. He also led the team with four blocks.
Michael filled the stat sheet up, securing a triple-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Butler and Austin Walker each had 23 points on the night to give the Tigers four guys over 20 points.
C.J. Singletary scored 18 points in the win. Jake Neubauer scored seven points. Dallas Majors had eight points and two steals. Elijah Johnson finished with two.
The Tigers moved to 9-4 overall with the win and 5-1 in SLIAC, which puts them in a tie for first with Westminster College.
IW will travel to Westminster on Wednesday, Jan. 11, for their next game. First place will be on the line in the men’s game, which tips off at 8 p.m.