Wesleyan women win, men lose in Blackburn doubleheader
BY ANDY KRUTSINGER
Mt. Pleasant News
It was an up-and-down day for the Iowa Wesleyan basketball teams on Wednesday night at Ruble Arena.
The women’s team dominated, 75-35, but the men came up short, falling 91-84.
The women cruised to victory, winning all four quarters in the game. The Tigers raced out to an early lead, outscoring the Beavers 20-9 in the first quarter and taking a 34-15 lead at halftime. IW continued to roll in the second half, winning the final two quarters by a combined total of 41-20.
Blackburn couldn’t solve a hot-shooting Tiger offense, which hit nine three-pointers in the game.
“I just wanted to see the kids play hard,” said women’s head coach Steve Williamson after the win. “I just wanted to see the kids play the type of basketball they are capable of playing. I thought the focus was there (and) I thought our seniors did a great job getting the team ready to play.”
Darby Massner scored 21 points to lead the Tiger women. She finished the night 7-10 from the field and 4-5 from three-point land.
Cairece Allen filled the stat sheet with 19 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals. Allie Massner scored 12 points. Jaimie Hurd had 11. LaStella Slack scored eight. Ahlia Tai finished with three and Hunter Clark had one.
The Tiger men struggled against the much taller Beavers in the first half. Blackburn outscored IW, 43-34, in the opening half to take a nine-point lead at the break.
IW started the second half with a 7-0 run to cut the Beaver lead to two points, at 43-41, but Blackburn struck back to stretch the lead back to double digits, at 55-45.
The Tigers were able to cut the lead to as little as four points later in the second half, but they couldn’t get enough shots to fall to cut it back to double digits and Blackburn walked out with the seven-point win.
“We just kept battling and trying to claw back into it and missed some big shots,” Tiger men’s coach Alex Huisman said after the game. “(Blackburn) made the shots to get it done. (We) just weren’t able to do what we needed.”
Steven Soukup led the team with 30 points in the win. He finished 10-16 overall, 3-7 from deep and 7-10 from the free throw line.
Brock Butler had 18 points and four assists in the loss. C.J. Singletary had 12 points and two assists. Michael Soukup scored nine. Elijah Johnson had six. Mitch Drey had five points and six rebounds, and Austin Walker rounded out the scoring effort with four.
The Tiger women moved to 8-9 overall and 7-3 in the SLIAC with the win. The men fell to 12-6 overall and 8-3 in conference play. Both teams will be back at home on Saturday, Jan. 28, against Spalding. The women will begin the doubleheader, at 1 p.m.