Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. – The Fontbonne University men's basketball team nearly came back from a 14-point deficit with under two minutes remaining, however, Iowa Wesleyan hung on for the 100-97 win.
The Griffins (3-11; 1-6 SLIAC), shot 54.1 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Tigers (2-12; 2-5 SLIAC), 38-29 in the outing.
Individually, Kris McCann led with his team-high 24 points on 9-of-21 shooting. Jared Woodcock continues to provide a spark off the bench, tying his season-high with 17 points on 70.0 percent shooting (7-of-10).
Iowa Wesleyan, meanwhile, shot 56.1 percent from the floor, but had its struggles from the charity-stripe, netting 25-of-40 (62.5 percent).
Brock Butler led all scorers with his game-high 33 points on 9-of-20 shooting, including hitting six 3-pointers. Mitchell Drey finished with 18 points, while Elijah Johnson added 13 of his own. Austin Rebel and Camron Mack finished with 11 points each.
In the first half, the Griffins opened with a 15-12 lead on Ritter's 3-pointer. The Tigers eventually took the lead back and stretched it out to 29-22 on Camron Mack's jumper at 9:44.
Iowa Wesleyan, who shot 51.4 percent in the first half, continued to add onto its lead at the 5:38 mark as Jarryd Fernandes extended the advantage out to 41-29.
The Griffins shot 55.6 percent themselves in the first 20:00 minutes of play, but the Tigers were still able to head into the locker room on top, 55-44.
The hot-shooting offenses didn't miss a beat in the second half with the Griffins shooting 52.0 percent, while the Tigers shot 65.0 percent.
A quick 5-0 run out of the gate gave the Tigers a 16-point (60-44) lead on Austin Reel's jumper. The Griffins responded, though with a 9-2 run to narrow the deficit down to 62-53.
Over the next eight minutes, Iowa Wesleyan's offense was able to expand its lead out to 83-64 with just 7:55 left to go. The Griffins wouldn't give in and with 1:59 left, the team trailed 94-80.
FBU chipped away at the lead and eventually got it down to 97-92 on Woodcock's 3-pointer with 18.0 seconds left in regulation. Despite outscoring Iowa Wesleyan 17-6 in the final two minutes, the Tigers escaped with the three-point win.
Fontbonne looks to bounce back on the road against Principia on Saturday. Tip-off goes up at 3 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.