Stingy Tigers win with defense again
Marion, Ind. - The Tigers did it again and they did it their way. What the Tigers did was win for the seventh time in eight starts for their best start in 11 years and again they did it thanks to their defense as they topped Indiana Wesleyan 62-47.
The win was the fourth straight for the Tigers and marked the fifth straight game that the Tigers held the opposition to 60 or fewer points.
Neither team started well offensively, but some credit can be given to the defenses. The Tigers fell behind early by 6-2 and 8-5 counts but Brad Stevens came off the bench to nail back-to-back treys and knot the score at 8-8. The Wildcats took as much as a three-point lead after that, but the Tigers rallied with six straight on buckets by Sylvester Harvey, Dave Gifford and Corey Yost. The see-saw struggle saw the hosts go back up by three before going into the halftime with a 27-26 lead.
After Ryan Biegel's three-point play with 18:25 left in regulation gave IWU a 30-27 lead, the Tigers took control. A 12-2 run was keyed by Craig Stewart's defense that included a pair of blocked shots and a steal to give the Tigers a 37-32 lead with 15:44 left.
The lead was still just four before a Brad Stevens layup and Bob Steiner's three-pointer started a 15-2 run that put the game away.
"Our defense was much better in the second half and we did a better job getting it inside as well," Tigers' coach Bill Fenlon said.
Sylvester Harvey and Stevens led the Tigers with 12 apiece off the bench. Harvey grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, while Jack Kidd and Stevens chipped in with seven each. The Tigers buried eight of 15 three-pointers from four different players including three-for-three from Steiner. Stephan Tarnutzer led Indiana Wesleyan with 14.
The Tigers break for finals before returning to action on Saturday, December 20 at home against the Savannah College of Art & Design at 2 p.m.