Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. — The Iowa Wesleyan men’s basketball team made its stamp on the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament on Tuesday night, upsetting Webster University 88-70.
The win earned coach Alex Huisman and the Tiger men’s basketball team its first ever SLIAC semifinal berth.
The fifth-seeded Tigers entered Webster Groves looking for revenge over a fourth-seeded Gorlok team that had beaten them 72-61 on the same floor one month earlier. Iowa Wesleyan, however, showed it was the hungrier team from the word “go.”
After allowing a Webster layup on the first possession of the game, the Tigers responded with five-straight points. Jarryd Fernandes tied the game up with a layup of his own, and Alex Dentlinger hit a 3-pointer to make it 5-2. That would be the last lead change of the game.
The Tigers jumped to a double-digit lead just over five minutes into the game. With 14:26 showing on the clock, Dentlinger knocked down another long ball to give Iowa Wesleyan a 17-6 lead before the Gorloks could blink.
The Tigers just kept pounding. A Jett Tjaden 3-pointer gave Iowa Wesleyan its largest lead, a 28-11 advantage midway through the first half. At the break, the Tigers led 43-29.
Iowa Wesleyan never let up. The Tigers continued to dominate throughout the second quarter, even reaching a 27-point lead when Amari Porter hit a jumper with 3:06 left. The lead dipped down below 20 in the final minute, but the game was never in doubt in the second half.
Tiger forward Jarryd Fernandes logged a double-double in the win. Iowa Wesleyan’s senior leader showed out when he needed to, going off for 23 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots to lead the squad.
Carver Locke finished the night with 15 points. Shawn Lafrance had 12. Dentlinger scored 11, and Kaleb Cresswell had five to give the Iowa Wesleyan four double-digit scorers.
Tjaden ended his night with six points. Marvin Saintolien scored five points and dished out a team-leading six assists against his former school. Porter, Nico Sheck and Jared Arellano scored two.
In the other SLIAC quarterfinal, third-seeded Fontbonne University defeated sixth-seeded Westminster 88-75.
Iowa Wesleyan will be at top-seeded Blackburn College on Thursday night, and Fontbonne will travel to No. 2 Greenville University. The winners will play at the higher-seed’s home court in Saturday’s SLIAC championship.