MOUNT PLEASANT – Mount Mercy College shot 48.1% and out-rebounded Iowa Wesleyan College 55-37, eventually pulling away to defeat the Tigers 97-71 Saturday afternoon at Ruble Arena.
The Tigers, with just eight players dressed for the game, hung in for more than a half but eventually fell back behind the Mustangs in the Midwest Collegiate Conference tilt. IWC lost its fifth straight game and dropped to 8-16 overall, 3-10 in conference.
Wesleyan faced a difficult matchup against the Mustangs in almost every way, but stayed in the game with outside shooting, hitting 11 three-pointers including eight in the first half. IWC played with just one player taller than 6-2, a difficult matchup anytime but especially against a Mount Mercy team that started players who were 6-4, 6-7 and 6-8. The Mustangs also typically play as many as 15 players in a game and employ a running, pressing style that made the Tigers’ job even tougher.
Despite all stacked against it, IWC trailed just 46-37 at the break. Jared Callanan (Sr.-Bennington, Vt.) hit five three-pointers in the first 20 minutes and had 17 points, and the Tigers had just seven turnovers as MMC eventually called off the press.
The Mustangs eventually broke it open in the second half, scoring the first seven points out of halftime and outscoring the Tigers 27-8 over the first 9:31, taking a 73-45 lead on James Henderson’s three-pointer with 10:29 left in the game. IWC eventually got back within 18 points after Reggie Shipp (Jr.-Aurora, Ill.) made a layup to make it 82-64 with 5:23 remaining, but got no closer.
Callanan scored a career-high 22 points, in all hitting six three-pointers. Brett Azinger (Fr.-Montrose, Iowa) added 14 points and Patrick Macki (Sr.-London, England) chipped in a season-best 12 points. Mike Lowe (Sr.-Panora, Iowa) paced Wesleyan with 10 rebounds. IWC finished the game shooting 37.1% (26 of 70) and made 11 of 32 from three-point range (34.4%).
Keith Kuenstling led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds for Mount Mercy, which improved to 18-8 overall, 6-6 in the MCC. The Mustangs made 39 of 81 shots and had 23 points off the fast break in sweeping the season series between the two teams.
Iowa Wesleyan next will take to the road to face nationally ranked Grand View University on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The game will 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 MMC 97 IWC 71