FAYETTE, MO. – The Iowa Wesleyan College men’s basketball team just missed its second win in six days over a nationally ranked team, dropping a 63-59 decision to Central Methodist University on Monday night.
The Tigers and Eagles went back and forth all night, but IWC missed on a chance to tie in the final seconds and CMU escaped to improve to 10-0 on the season. Wesleyan saw a brief two-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 6-6 on the season.
Central Methodist came into the game ranked 16th in the latest NAIA Division I coaches’ poll, but the Tigers stuck with the Eagles throughout a terrific, evenly matched game. The contest saw six ties and eight lead changes, and neither team led by more than six points in the game.
IWC led by two at halftime, coming back from an early six-point deficit thanks in part to three three-pointers off the bench by Josh Hogue (Jr.-Oxford, Iowa). Wesleyan later built a brief five-point lead in the second half as the Tigers scored nine straight points in the middle of the half, including six points by Da’kari Shelby (Sr.-O’Fallon, Ill.), to take a 54-49 lead with 7:40 left in the game.
The Eagles came back with eight straight points, including a three-pointer by Curtis Smith with 5:10 left to make it 55-54. CMU did not trail again, with the lead fluctuating between one and four points down the stretch. The Tigers had a shot to tie in the final seconds but missed a jumper to tie with nine seconds left. Matt Sherman then hit two free throws to ice the game for the Eagles.
IWC shot 40.0% for the game (22-for-55), while the Eagles made 24 of 55 field goal tries (43.6%). The teams also tied in rebounds with 32 for each team.
Brett Humpal (Sr.-Decorah, Iowa) led the Tigers with 15 points. Shelby added 13 points and eight rebounds. Jeff Blauvelt was the main force for CMU, scoring 20 points on 9-for-15 shooting and adding eight rebounds.
IWC dropped to 1-2 this season against nationally ranked teams. The Tigers earlier lost to second-ranked Bethel (Ind.) College and last week defeated then-17th ranked William Penn University.
Wesleyan now has a 12-day break before its next game, when the Tigers host Doane (Neb.) College in a non-conference matchup. It will be the second meeting of the season between the teams, as Doane won the first meeting 70-56 in Nebraska on Nov. 14.
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.