MOUNT PLEASANT – Matt Banzhaf hit a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left and a pair of tying three-point attempts for Iowa Wesleyan College were off the mark as Grand View University held on for a 62-59 win Wednesday night at Ruble Arena in the battle for first place in the Midwest Collegiate Conference.
The Vikings never trailed and led by as many as 18 points in the game, but the Tigers made a furious comeback late to get within one point in the final minute. Grand View held on, though, to move into sole possession of first in the MCC at 12-2 and sweep the season series against IWC. The Tigers also saw their seven-game winning streak snapped in dropping to 15-10 overall, 11-3 in conference.
Wesleyan nearly came all the way back after trailing almost the entire game by a double-digit margin. The Tigers fell behind 13-0 before scoring a basket, trailed 37-21 at halftime and were still down 58-47 with just over three minutes left before starting what was nearly a comeback for the ages.
Seemingly all but buried, IWC got a lay-up and a three-point play from Keenan Stanbridge (Jr.-Quincy, Ill.) as part of a frenetic 10-2 run to cut the lead to 60-59, the last basket coming after a steal and lay-up by Brett Humpal (Sr.-Decorah, Iowa) with 52 seconds left in the game. The Tigers had the chance to get a stop on the Vikings’ next possession but could not corral the rebound after a GVU shot and were called for a loose ball foul with 12 seconds left.
Banzhaf hit both free throws to make it 62-59, but the Tigers still had a pair of chances to tie at the end. Jared Callanan (Jr.-Bennington, Vt.) and Humpal both had three-point tries to tie, including a good look for Callanan with five seconds left, but both were off the mark.
The Tigers never quite were able to recover from a miserable first half. IWC fell behind 19-2 and trailed by as much as 18 in the first 20 minutes. Grand View shot well, hitting 13 of 26 shots (50.0%) while the Tigers made just 33.3% of their shots (8-for-24) and were out-rebounded 19-13 in the first half.
IWC shot better after halftime, especially after a slow start. The Tigers hit 12 of 27 shots in the second half (44.4%) and hit 11 of their final 18 field goals to finally heat up over the final ten minutes.
GVU still led 50-32 with 10:24 left in the game before Callanan, Josh Hogue (Jr.-Oxford, Iowa) and Humpal all hit three-pointers to begin the comeback. The Tigers eventually got within 53-47 after two free throws by Humpal with 5:01 to play before the Vikings briefly pushed the lead back to 11 points.
Humpal led the Tigers with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Callanan and Da’kari Shelby (Sr.-O’Fallon, Ill.) added nine points each, while Callanan and Jason Garber (Sr.-Emden, Ill.) both had four assists. IWC finished 20-for-51 for the game (39.2%) and hit 8 of 23 three-point tries (34.8%).
Corey Viet led GVU with 19 points. The Vikings, ranked 22nd in the latest NAIA Division II coaches’ poll, improved to 20-7 overall and now own the tiebreaker should Grand View and Iowa Wesleyan finish tied for first in the MCC regular season standings.
The Tigers next will face Viterbo (Wis.) University on Saturday on Senior Day and the team’s final regular season home game. Game time at Ruble Arena will be 3 p.m. IWC has two regular season games left before its MCC Tournament opener Feb. 25th at home against an opponent to be determined.
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 #22 GVU 62 IWC 59