BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Illinois Wesleyan men’s basketball team limited the No. 2-ranked Augustana (IL) Vikings to just 37 percent shooting from the field and rolled to a 72-53 win at the Shirk Center on Wednesday, Jan. 3.
The Titans improved to 10-3 overall and a first place 3-1 record in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin while the Vikings, had a six-game winning streak snapped and are 10-2 overall and 2-1 against the league. The win helped IWU avoid a three-game Shirk Center losing streak and was the first home win since Nov. 18 over Calvin.
For the second consecutive game, Brady Rose netted 26 points to lead IWU and Rose has now scored 20+ points eight times this season. Junior Colin Bonnett added 14 points as the Titans shot .446 (29 of 65) from the field and .333 (7 of 21) from beyond the arc.
Augustana’s largest leads of three were a 3-0 margin on a trey by Chrishawn Orange at the 18:27 mark of the first half and a 7-4 lead on an Orange basket at 16:35. The Titans took a 10-9 lead at 14:52 as part of an 11-0 run that staked IWU to a 19-9 with 12:39 left in the first half and the Titans would never trail again.
Illinois Wesleyan knocks off #2 ranked Augustana 72-53 at Shirk Wed. IWU 10-3, 3-1 in CCIW.
— IWU Sports (@iwusports) January 4, 2018
The Vikings cut into a 16-point deficit to get within eight early in the second half. But a basket by junior Jason Gregoire, a 3-pointer and a basket by sophomore Zach Knobloch and a bucket by sophomore Alex O’Neill pumped the Illinois Wesleyan lead to 52-35 advantage with 12:34 remaining.
The Titans won the battle of the boards, 44-36, collecting 14 on the offensive end with four coming from senior Tyler Burdine and three each from junior Danny Baker and O’Neill, each of whom finished with a game-high seven rebounds.
In 3-point shooting, the Vikings were as frigid as the January temps, connecting on only two of 18 in the game (.111) and missing on all 10 of their 3-point tried in the second half. Micah Martin had 19 points and Orange scored 14 to pace the Vikings. Brett Benning had 11 points and led his team with six boards.
Illinois Wesleyan hosts Elmhurst in a CCIW battle at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Shirk Center … The Bluejays are 2-1 in the CCIW and 9-3 overall after an 87-60 home court nonconference win over Edgewood on Wednesday.