Tigers split at Buzz Levick tourney

WAVERLY — The Iowa Wesleyan men’s basketball team went 1-1 this weekend at the Buzz Levick tournament. The Tigers fell 82-69 to hosting Wartberg College in game one, but bounced back to beat the University of Minnesota-Morris 84-83 on a game-winning tip by Alberto Torres.

In the game against Wartburg, Iowa Wesleyan took an early lead on a three-pointer by Alex Dentlinger, but Wartberg connected on back-to-back layups to take a 4-3 lead. The Tigers held a one-point lead on an Austin Banks layup with 10:41 left and another one-point lead on a Dentlinger layup with 3:50 remaining, but Wartberg closed the half on a 9-2 run and led 38-32 at the break.

Jarryd Fernandes cut the Warberg lead to four points with a layup in the first 20 seconds of the second half but that’s as close as the Tigers would get. Wartburg led by as much as 18 points in the final four minutes.

Dentlinger led the Tigers with 15 points in the loss. Fernandes had 13 points and seven rebounds, and Torres finished with 10 points and a team-leading five assists.

Marvin Saintolien had nine points off the bench. Kaleb Cresswell scored six. Neubauer ended with five. Banks and Robert Heise scored four each, and Jett Tijaden had three.

Despite hitting eight three-pointers in the first half, the Tigers trailed 39-38 at the break against Minnesota-Morris. IW knocked down eight more shots from beyond the arc in the second half, and also outrebounded the Cougars 27-13.

IW began the second half on an 8-2 run, grabbing a 46-41 lead early. Minnesota-Morris regained the lead with 15:54 left, but the Tigers grabbed it right back on a jumper by Saintolien on their next possession.

The Cougars hit back-to-back three-pointers midway through the half to finally retake the lead 61-58. IW regained the advantage on back-to-back shots by Dentlinger and Cresswell to lead 63-61 with 7:49 remaining.

The next lead change came at 6:03 when Minnesota-Morris’ Jaret Johnson hit a go-ahead three-pointer. Denglinger tied the game with another three on IW’s next possession, but IW wouldn’t get the lead back until Torres’ game-winner.

The Tigers trailed 83-79 with 57 ticks remaining. Dentlinger sank another three to cut the Cougar lead to 83-82, and Fernandes came away with a steal on the other end to set up the final possession.

Neubauer took a three-pointer with the clock winding down. The shot bounced off the front of the rim and off, but Torres snuck in front of a defender to tip the ball back up and in. Minnesota-Morris’ desperation heave was no good, and IW escaped with a win.

Dentlinger tore up the nets in the victory, going 9-13 from the field and 7-10 from three-point land for a game-high 25 points. Cresswell and Neubauer hit four three-pointers each. Cresswell finished with 18 points and led the squad with four assists, and Neubauer scored 17.

Fernandes flirted with a double-double, scoring nine points and pulling down nine rebounds. Torres finished with seven. Saintolien had four, and both Alex Flute and David Seber had two.

The Tiger men moved to 2-2 on the season. They’ll play an exhibition against Upper Iowa University on Tuesday, Nov. 19, before returning to regular season play at home against Monmouth College on Tuesday, Nov. 26.