ST. LOUIS, Mo.— In a back-and-forth outing from start-to-finish, the Fontbonne University men's basketball team hung on for the nail-biting, 84-83 victory, over Iowa Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon.
Prior to the game, the team honored senior James Wiggins for his success on and off the court for the Griffins.
With 16.0 seconds remaining, Kris McCann drove the lane, made his basket and got fouled on the play. However, he missed the free throw and that allowed Iowa Wesleyan to come down the court, and sink a 3-pointer from Mitchell Drey with 10.0 seconds to go.
Then, one second later, Jared Woodcock got fouled and headed to the charity-stripe. He missed the one-and-one and Drey got the rebound with seconds to go. The ball found Jake Neubauer and he had a chance for the win, but he missed the wide open 3-pointer, allowing Fontbonne to hang on for the one-point win.
The Griffins (5-18; 3-13 SLIAC), shot 46.5 percent from the floor and controlled the glass with a 42-32 advantage, including grabbing down 17 offensive boards, compared to six for the Tigers.
Individually, Luke DeLine led with his team-high 22 points on 50.0 percent (9-of-18) shooting. Jared Woodcock added 16 points, while Tristan Baker and McCann contributed 12 and 11 points respectively. Noah Coddington, meanwhile, just missed out on a double-double with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
On the other side of the court, Iowa Wesleyan (5-18; 5-11 SLIAC), hit 49.2 percent of its shot attempts. Drey paced the scorers with a game-high 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting and tied Coddington with 10 rebounds.
Elijah Johnson sank 7-of-15 to end with 18 points, while Camron Mack and Jake Neubauer totaled 14 and 11 points. Coming into today's game, Brock Butler, was averaging 27.0 points per game, today he was held to just 10, which is a season-low.
In the first half, the Griffins made its first six shots and two free throws in five minutes time to take a 16-6 lead on Coddington's lay-up.
Iowa Wesleyan continued to chip away at the lead and eventually took it for the first time on Neubauer's bucket to put them ahead by one (19-18).
The two teams continued to go bucket-for-bucket as the clocked ticked away. At 1:13, Coddington made both of his free throws to tie it, 38-38. Baker sank two more free throws to give them a two-point lead, but Butler hit a 3-pointer with 24.0 seconds left, putting the Tigers back out in front (41-40).
Prior to the half ending though, Woodcock hit a fall-away 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to give Fontbonne a 43-41 lead after one.
In the second stanza, the Tigers took a 51-48 lead on Butler's bucket. The Griffins went on to take the lead back, 58-55, on DeLine's 3-pointer at 10:54.
From there, up until the 3:34 mark when the Griffins led 77-73, there were four ties in a seven-minute span, but the Griffins still maintained the marginal lead.
At 2:30, Wiggins earned the old-fashioned 3-point play to give Fontbonne an 82-76 lead. Iowa Wesleyan narrowed it down to two with seconds remaining, but the Griffins were able to close out with the one-point win.
The team returns to action at home on Tuesday night when they'll host Principia. Tip-off goes up at 7 p.m.
Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the men's basketball team.