MT. PLEASANT — The Iowa Wesleyan students were back in the stands on Wednesday night for the first time in 2020 as the Tiger basketball teams hosted their first games since the second semester started, and the Tiger faithful was treated to two SLIAC wins over MacMurray. The women’s team held on for a 61-56 victory, and the men rolled to a 100-61 blowout.
In the women’s game, MacMurray made it tough on IW by tightly guarding leading scorers Allie Massner and Morgan McCrea, but starting guards Sydney Farrar and Maddie Williamson stepped up to combine for 40 points.
“I’m feeling great,” said Farrar after leading the team with 23 points. “It was big for us, because they were really face-guarding Morgan and Allie. They were patient in letting Maddie and I get the ball, and move with the ball.”
The Tigers led 13-12 after the first quarter, 25-24 at halftime and 39-36 after three quarters. MacMurray tried to speed the Tigers up with pressure in the fourth quarter, but IW stayed discipline and clung on for the win.
“When you don’t turn the ball over, you give yourselves a chance,” women’s head coach Temaine Wright said. “That has kind of been the hard thing for us, is not hurting ourselves. That was good to see.”
Williamson added 17 points and four steals for IW. Harriet Fowler had six points and seven assists. Deericka Martin scored six. Massner finished with five. McCrea and Kieley Allen had two apiece.
“It was awesome seeing all of our students here and all that energy on the bench,” Williamson said. “We’ve got a low record and they still come out and support, and that means a lot to us.”
The men trailed 14-4 early, but they came roaring back to lead 43-30 at halftime. The Tigers broke the Highlander full-court press with ease, and that led to a 17-point night from Jarryd Fernandes down low.
“My role is easy. I get to look good while all these guards do the hard work,” Fernandes said. “All my points come off dishes, I’ve just got to be in the right spot and finish.”
Alberto Torres had 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench to help out the cause. Marvin Saintolien scored 14, and Austin Banks had a double-double, with 11 points and 11 assists.
“It’s too much fun,” Banks said. The crowd going, teammates going, bench going, everybody going. It’s just fun getting everybody involved and having a great game.”
Kaleb Cresswell finished the night with nine points. Jett Tjaden had eight points and seven rebounds. Alex Dentlinger scored seven.= points. David Seber had six. Avree Clark and Martell Andrews scored three each, and Marvin Ramirez and Robert Heise each scored two.
The Tiger women are now 2-12 overall, the men are 5-8, and both teams have a 2-4 SLIAC record. The Tigers will host Fontbonne University in another conference doubleheader on Saturday, January 18.