DUBUQUE – Reggie Shipp (Jr.-Aurora, Ill.) scored 26 points and helped Iowa Wesleyan College battle back to overcome a 12-point second half deficit to defeat Clarke College 83-81 Saturday afternoon in Midwest Collegiate Conference play.
The Tigers got their first conference win of the season, winning on the road at Clarke for the second straight year and improving to 5-7 overall, 1-1 in the MCC. IWC did it by coming from behind after trailing 67-55 with 11:15 remaining in the game.
IWC spent much of the game fighting from behind, taking a few brief leads in the first half but often chasing the Crusaders. Clarke opened up shooting red-hot from three-point range and took an early nine-point lead in the opening minutes. The Tigers roped in the Crusaders briefly on two occasions for one-point leads, but the hosts made a run just before halftime to go ahead by nine again and would lead 45-39 at the break.
The Tigers closed within one point twice in the second half before Clarke used another run to gain control. Josh Hutton and Nathan Bingham were trouble off the bench all day for IWC, and the two combined for 10 straight points capped by a Hutton three-pointer as the Crusaders took their largest lead at 12 points with just over 11 minutes remaining.
Beset by foul trouble, Wesleyan nevertheless began to work its way back on the game on the backs of Shipp and Weldon Miller (Jr.-San Rafael, Calif.). Shipp had all of the points in a 10-0 run to get the Tigers within 67-65, and then Miller went to work inside against Clarke star Thomas Ammon, who also had four fouls. Miller followed Shipp’s streak with six straight points of his own, and his two free throws tied the score at 71-71 with 5:00 remaining.
Brett Azinger (Fr.-Montrose, Iowa) drove the lane and scored on a layup to give IWC the lead on its next possession, and the Tigers would make the Crusaders chase them the rest of the way. Wesleyan took a five-point lead before Clarke tied it back up at 77-77 on a Justin Heng three-pointer with 2:04 left. Miller would score again on a short jumper the next time down, though.
Both Shipp and starting point guard Gary Rademaker (Jr.-Emden, Ill.) fouled out in the final minutes but Wesleyan continued to hold the lead down the stretch. Rademaker scored with 20 seconds left for a four-point lead but was called for charging on the same play for his fifth foul. Ammon then made his first free throw but missed the second and Jamal Blackmond (Fr.-Aurora, Ill.) ripped down the rebound, was fouled and hit two free throws with 16 seconds left to give the Tigers an 83-78 lead. Hutton hit yet another three-pointer to make it 83-81 with five seconds left, but after two timeouts IWC was able to get the ball inbounds and dribble out the clock.
Shipp led five players scoring in double figures for IWC. Miller scored 16 points, Rademaker had 13 and Jared Callanan (Sr.-Bennington, Vt.) and Azinger both added 11 points. The Tigers shot 49.2%, making 32 of 65 shots, and also out-rebounded the Crusaders 43-37.
Clarke shot 35.9% for the game, making 23 of 64 shots, including just 9 of 32 shots in the second half (28.1%). Hutton led the Crusaders with 23 points off the bench and was one of five Clarke players in double figures. Ammon finished with three points and six rebounds, well below his averages of 18 points and nine rebounds entering the game. The Crusaders dropped to 0-2 in the conference and fell to 1-10 overall.
The Tigers have next week off and will play again next on Saturday, Dec. 12 at home against Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) College. Game time will be 3 p.m. at Ruble Arena.
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 83 Clarke 81