MOUNT PLEASANT – Iowa Wesleyan College hung around all afternoon but shot just 28.1% from the field and dropped a 60-50 decision to Valley City State (N.D.) University Saturday at Ruble Arena.
The Tigers played from behind all day but never let the Vikings get away, coming back from double-digit deficits on a number of occasions. Still, the Tigers dropped to 4-6 on the season while Valley City State improved to 6-2 this year.
The Vikings, members of the Dakota Athletic Conference, took control quickly, moving out to a 15-4 lead in the first five minutes. VCSU eventually built the lead up to 13 when Donte Dangerfield made two free throws for a 30-17 cushion with 4:51left in the first half.
Wesleyan responded with nine straight points just before halftime to stay close at the break. Blake Smith (Fr.-Sydney, Australia) converted a three-point play and Gary Rademaker (Jr.-Emden, Ill.) and Reggie Shipp (Jr.-Aurora, Ill.) scored on layups to cut the deficit to 30-26. The Vikings scored in the final minute for a 32-26 lead at halftime.
Valley City State pushed the lead back out to 11 on three occasions early in the second half, but IWC once again came back. Patrick Macki (Sr.-London, England) hit a pair of three-pointers in a 10-3 run as the Tigers drew within 46-43 with 8:10 left in the game.
The Vikings again went out to nine-point leads twice, but once again Wesleyan came back, getting as close as four when Mike Lowe (Sr.-Panora, Iowa) made two free throws to make it 54-50 with 3:31 remaining. The Tigers would not score again, though, and Dareon Spencer scored the Vikings final six points, including four free throws in the final minute to salt it away.
Rademaker was the only Tiger to score in double figures with 10 points. Lowe led IWC with eight rebounds. Wesleyan made 16 of 57 shots, including 5 of 25 three-pointers (20%), and was out-rebounded 39-33 but stayed close by forcing 23 Valley City State turnovers.
IWC now gets ready for the open of Midwest Collegiate Conference play Wednesday night against William Penn University. The Tigers will host the Statesmen at 7:30 p.m. at Ruble Arena in the final game of the team’s six-game homestand.
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; email@example.com e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.