MOUNT PLEASANT – The Iowa Wesleyan College men’s basketball team shot 64.5% in the first half and 53.8% for the game in blowing away Clarke College 91-61 Saturday afternoon at Ruble Arena.
The Tigers shot better than 50% for the second straight game and led by as many as 31 points just in the first half to follow up their Wednesday win over nationally ranked William Penn University with another solid effort. IWC improved to 2-0 in the Midwest Collegiate Conference and moved to 6-5 overall on the season.
Wesleyan came out on fire from the start, racing to a 9-0 lead in the first three minutes against the undermanned Crusaders, who dressed just seven players for the game. The Tigers later blew the game wide open with a 29-5 run in the middle of the first half, opening up a 44-16 lead after Brett Humpal (Sr.-Decorah, Iowa) hit the team’s seventh three-pointer of the opening half.
IWC built the lead as large as 53-22 in the first half and led by 28 points at the break. The Tigers shot 20 of 31 in the first half, held the Crusaders to 28.1% shooting (9-for-32), and also out-rebounded the visitors 21-12 in the first 20 minutes.
Clarke shot better early in the second half and at one point crawled back within 17 points at 67-50. Again, though, the Tigers toughened up on defense, holding the Crusaders to 11 points in the last 12:20 of the game while building the lead back up to 30 points at the end.
IWC made 35 of 65 shots for the game and again was hot from behind the three-point line, hitting 12 of 26 (46.2%), including 11 of its first 19. Wesleyan also limited the Crusaders to 34.3% shooting for the game (23 of 67) and out-rebounded Clarke 45-33.
Humpal led the Tigers with 28 points, including 18 in the first half, and made 10 of 16 shots from the field. Da’kari Shelby (Sr.-O’Fallon, Ill.) added 11 points and a game high 10 rebounds. Shelby also tied teammate Michael Coons (Sr.-Hannibal, Mo.) for game honors in assists with five and added four blocked shots and three steals. Jason Garber (Sr.-Emden, Ill.) also scored in double figures with 10 points and added seven rebounds.
The Tigers have little time to rest up for their next game, with a trip to Fayette, Mo. to face Central Methodist University scheduled for Monday night. Wesleyan then will be off until Dec. 20, when it hosts Doane (Neb.) College in a non-conference matchup.