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Tiger men can’t clip Principia in SLIAC opener

Nov 30, 2017
MPN file photo Brock Butler (pictured) led the team with 23 points in Iowa Wesleyan’s SLIAC opener against Principia on Tuesday night.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


Iowa Wesleyan had two players go over 20 points in Tuesday night’s SLIAC opener, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Tigers fell to Principia College 85-78.

The Tigers couldn’t seem to get any shots to fall from outside in the first half, going 2-16. The rough shooting from outside allowed Principia to stick with the Tigers early on, despite turning the ball over eight times in the half.

Even with the outside struggles, the Tigers held a lead for most of the half. IW led by as much as seven points when five-straight points from Alexander Flute made it 26-19 with eight minutes remaining.

The Panthers scrapped back to take over the lead in the final minutes of the half. After going back and forth down the first-half stretch, Principia’s Trevaughn Goodman hit a jumper at the buzzer to give the Panthers a 42-40 lead at the break.

The Tigers heated up from outside in the second half, going 7-15 from three-point land, but they struggled to get inside points throughout the period. IW hit just five shots inside in the final 20 minutes.

Goodman led Principia to as high as an 11-point lead midway through the half, but the Tigers still had some fight left in them.

Elijah Johnson, who made his season debut, was red hot down the stretch in the second half. He scored 19 points in the half, going 7-10 from the field and 4-6 from three-point land.

Johnson’s final shot of the night was a three-pointer that cut the Principia lead to 83-78, but that’s as close as the Tigers would get. IW couldn’t hit a shot in the final minute and Principia held on to the seven-point victory.

Butler filled up the stat sheet in the loss, leading the team with 23 points, nine rebounds and four steals.

Johnson finished with 21 pionts and Mitch Drey added 10 points and eight rebounds.

Flute and Jake Neubauer scored five points apiece in the loss. Jarryd Fernandes and Camron Mack scored two points each. Austin Banks had one point and a team-leading five assists.

IW fell to 0-7 overall and 0-1 in SLIAC play with the loss. The Tigers will take on Spalding University on Saturday, Dec. 2, in their first conference road game. That contest will begin at 3 p.m., with the women’s game preceding at 1 p.m.

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