LA CROSSE, WIS. – Brett Humpal (Sr.-Decorah, Iowa) hit the go-ahead basket with 3:50 left in overtime, Jason Garber (Sr.-Emden, Ill.) hit a free throw with four seconds left and Iowa Wesleyan College picked up a 77-75 overtime win over Viterbo (Wis.) University Saturday evening.
The Tigers’ win wasn’t safe until Viterbo’s Eric Ambrose missed a shot from near halfcourt at the end of overtime. IWC pulled through, though, to defeat the V-Hawks on Viterbo’s Homecoming weekend and improve to 5-2 in the Midwest Collegiate Conference and 9-9 overall. The V-Hawks dropped to 3-3 in the MCC and 7-12 overall.
In a game that featured 13 ties and 15 lead changes, Viterbo led most of the second half until the late minutes of regulation, when the teams went back and forth a number of times. Five ties and five lead changes took place in the final six minutes of the second half alone. IWC took its final lead of regulation when Jared Callanan (Jr.-Bennington, Vt.) hit his fourth three-pointer of the game for a 72-70 lead with 1:16 left.
The V-Hawks came back to tie with 39 seconds left when Ambrose hit a pair of free throws. IWC then missed a shot and Viterbo rebounded, but after a timeout the V-Hawks turned the ball over near halfcourt with two seconds left. Keenan Stanbridge (Jr.-Quincy, Ill.) got off a final shot from 35 feet but the ball went off the front of the rim as time expired.
The teams combined for just eight points in overtime. After Humpal’s basket, Da’kari Shelby (Sr.-O’Fallon, Ill.) scored on a tip-in with 2:00 left to give Wesleyan a 76-72 lead. Viterbo’s Scott Buschman came down on the next possession for a dunk, and Greg Jefferies hit one of two free throws with 48 seconds left to make it 76-75. The Tigers then missed as the shot clock ran down on their next possession, but Garber grabbed the rebound and eventually was fouled with four seconds left.
Humpal scored 19 points and led five IWC players in double figures. Shelby, Callanan and Stanbridge all added 12 points and Garber scored 10. Garber also led the team with nine rebounds, four assists and three steals in 38 minutes of play. The Tigers shot 46.3% for the game, making 25 of 54 shots, including 18 makes in 23 shots inside the three-point arc. Wesleyan was just seven of 31 (22.6%) from three-point range.
Ambrose led the V-Hawks with 21 points. Buschman had 18 points and 13 rebounds and Jefferies had 17 points, including 13 in the first half when Viterbo took a 29-27 lead into halftime. The V-Hawks shot 22 of 50 (44.0%) and hit 24 of 32 free throws (75.0%). For the Homecoming game Viterbo brought out its throwback ‘Sixers’ uniforms, replicas of VU’s 1980 uniforms from when the school nickname was the 76ers.
The Tigers have a week off until their next game Jan. 24 at home against Waldorf College at 3 p.m. IWC will play twice at home in three days, as the Tigers will then host William Penn University Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
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; firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.