MOUNT PLEASANT – Iowa Wesleyan College and Central Methodist (Mo.) University emerged victorious on the opening evening of the ninth annual Kiwanis Classic hosted by IWC at Ruble Arena.
Central Methodist opened the tourney with a 90-78 win over Mount Mercy College, coming back from an eight-point halftime deficit to defeat the Mustangs. IWC followed with an easy 118-33 win over Logan College of Chiropractic (Mo.).
The opening game was an exciting back-and-forth affair much of the way, with Mount Mercy controlling the first half and building a 10-point lead late in the half. The Mustangs led 43-35 at halftime on the strength of 51.5% shooting and a defense that forced 12 turnovers and limited the Eagles to 40.7% shooting.
Central Methodist came out strong in the second half, taking the lead when Matt Sherman hit a three-pointer to make it 51-50 with 14:27 left. The Eagles took the lead for good on another Sherman triple a few minutes later and would gain control in the final 10 minutes, leading by as much as 16 points in the final minute.
Sherman finished with 18 points to lead CMU, hitting six three-pointers for an Eagles team that improved to 4-2 and is coming off a 28-7 season last year that included a trip to the NAIA Division I Sweet 16. Keith Kuenstling led a balanced attack for the Mustangs with 12 points. Mount Mercy lost for the first time in six games this year.
Wesleyan controlled the second game from the start against an undermanned Logan team which has been struck hard by the flu and had just seven players. The Tigers opened with a 30-0 run and led 59-13 at halftime.
Reggie Shipp (Jr.-Aurora, Ill.) had 23 points and six assists to lead IWC in both categories. Jamal Blackmond (Fr.-Aurora, Ill.) added 21 points and a game-high 13 rebounds off the bench. The Tigers shot 64.0% for the game, making 48 of 75 field goals. Brock Martin led Logan with seven points.
The tourney continues Saturday with two more games. Mount Mercy faces Logan at 1 p.m. in the opener, and IWC hosts Central Methodist at 3 p.m. in the final game of the tourney.
For more information regarding the IWC basketball programs or any of the Tiger athletic teams, contact sports information director Adam Glatczak (319-385-6306 phone; 319-385-6384 FAX; firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
Box score IWC 118 Logan 33
Box score CMU 90 MMC 78