MOUNT PLEASANT – Iowa Wesleyan College fell behind big in the first half and St. Ambrose University turned away several comeback attempts by the Tigers as the Fighting Bees won a 72-63 decision in Midwest Collegiate Conference play Wednesday night at Ruble Arena.
The Tigers fell behind by 19 points at halftime, whittled the deficit down to seven points midway through the second half but got no closer in falling to 6-9 overall, 1-3 in conference play. St. Ambrose improved to 10-6 this year, 3-1 in the MCC.
IWC was done in by a dismal first 20 minutes when the Tigers shot just 26.7% (8-for-30) and were out-rebounded 24-15. In a ragged half with few whistles, the Bees took control and built a 39-20 halftime lead.
Wesleyan got back into the game in the second half, making 11 of its 13 shots after halftime. The Tigers still got few stops until a 12-0 run when Reggie Shipp (Jr.-Aurora, Ill.) scored 10 points, including a three-pointers with 11:13 remaining to make it 52-45.
The Tigers had several chances to get closer but missed a pair of free throws, including the front end of a one-and-one, and St. Ambrose made IWC pay. The Bees eight straight points to push the lead back to 15 points at 62-47 and eventually would go back up by as many as 17 points. Wesleyan made a final run in the closing minutes, scoring eight straight points to make it 67-58 with 1:25 left, but got no closer.
Shipp scored 20 points to lead Wesleyan while going up against his former school, where the junior played the past two years. Jared Callanan (Sr.-Bennington, Vt.) added 11 points off the bench and Brett Azinger (Fr.-Montrose, Iowa) chipped in 10 points. The Tigers shot 40% for the game, making 22 of 55 shots, and were out-rebounded 38-34.
IWC next will face Mount Mercy College on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Cedar Rapids. The game will be broadcast live at www.iwc.edu/onlinemedia.
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.
Box score SAU 72 IWC 63