Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
CARLINVILLE, Ill. — It couldn’t have been much closer for the Iowa Wesleyan men’s basketball team on Thursday night.
Trailing by two points in the final seconds of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference semifinals, junior sharpshooter Jett Tjaden had a 3-pointer from the corner to win it, but the shot narrowly rimmed out, letting top-seeded Blackburn escape, 61-59.
The fifth-seeded Tigers, who upset Webster University in the quarterfinals, were in a good position to keep their Cinderella run going. Iowa Wesleyan led 33-30 at halftime, and held an eight-point advantage with 5:31 left.
Trailing 53-45, Blackburn rallied back to score the next eight points, tying the game with 3:49 showing on the clock. The score stayed within one possession for the rest of the night.
With Blackburn up 61-58 and less than five seconds remaining, Carver Locke took the ball over the half court line to try and set up a potential game-tying 3-pointer, but he was fouled and sent to the line for a one-and-one. He would make the first and miss the second, forcing the Beavers to fumble it out of bounds.
That set up the chance for the Tigers to steal the game back, but the final shot narrowly rimmed out and a dream run was over.
Locke led the team with 19 points and 14 rebounds in the loss. Kaleb Cresswell scored 13 points and dished out three assists, and Jarryd Fernandes ended the night with 10 points.
Tjaden had six points on the night. Marvin Saintolien and David Seber scored four apiece. Alex Dentlinger ended the game with three points and three assists.
Blackburn would go on to win the SLIAC championship on Saturday, defeating Fontbonne University 77-69.
Locke was named to the All-Tournament team, the only Tiger to get the nod.
The Tigers ended the season 5-10 overall and 4-6 in conference play.