MOUNT PLEASANT – Iowa Wesleyan College shot just 14.8% in the first half in falling down 19 points at halftime, and the Tigers never fully recovered in a 75-66 loss to Clarke College at Ruble Arena Thursday night in Midwest Collegiate Conference play.
IWC played from behind all night and lost its third straight game, falling to 8-13 overall, 3-7 in the MCC. The Crusaders salvaged a split of the season series between the two teams and improved to 4-19 overall, 2-8 in conference.
The Tigers finished the game shooting 32.8% (20-for-61), but needed to make 47.1% of its shots (16 of 34) in the second half just to get there. Wesleyan hit just 4 of 27 shots in the first half in falling behind 38-19 at the break, and at one point in the game was shooting just 11.8% after missing its first seven shots in the second half.
Iowa Wesleyan was able to make a run once it got on track, narrowing the 19-point deficit to five points midway through the second half. Gary Rademaker (Jr.-Emden, Ill.) hit a pair of three-pointers in a 17-5 run that ended with Reggie Shipp (Jr.-Aurora, Ill.) making a jumper to get the Tigers within 47-42 with 9:43 left in the game. Wesleyan also held the Crusaders to just nine points in the first ten minutes of the second half.
IWC got no closer the rest of the way, though, as the Tigers were unable to get enough stops down the stretch. Clarke came up empty on very few trips down the floor the rest of the way, hitting seven of its final 11 shots and also attempting 17 free throws in the final six minutes, making 12 of them. The Crusaders eventually rebuilt the lead to double figures on several occasions and led by as many as 13 with 1:22 left.
Weldon Miller (Jr.-San Rafael, Calif.) led the Tigers with 17 points off the bench, making 8 of 11 field goals. Brett Azinger (Fr.-Montrose, Iowa) added 11 points while Jamal Blackmond (Fr.-Aurora, Ill.) led IWC with seven rebounds. The Tigers were out-rebounded 47-37, though, and Clarke shot 25 of 58 (43.1% for the game. Thomas Ammon led Clarke with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
Wesleyan will conclude a busy week with a home game Saturday against Ashford University at 3 p.m. at Ruble Arena. The Tigers will be participating in the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative Saturday and will be taking donations for Coaches vs. Cancer and the American Cancer Society. The game will also be broadcast online 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 Clarke 75 IWC 66