Conclusion of Wheaton Thunder Basketball season
March 15 2018
After a roller coaster season, the Wheaton Women’s Basketball team was eliminated from the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament when Washington University beat the Thunder 75-57 on Mar. 2, 2018.
WashU simply outplayed the Thunder during the last four minutes of the first quarter, and the Bears came back onto the court with fast and efficient plays in the third quarter. Going on a 13-2 run at the end of the first quarter was a great way to start for the Bears; unfortunately, it meant that Wheaton had a long uphill climb to make it a closer game.
Wheaton was able to gain some ground on WashU in the fourth quarter by outscoring the Bears 17-14, but the deficit was ultimately too much to overcome.
Wheaton’s team stats seemed pretty even with WashU in terms of fast break points, second chance points, steals, turnovers and bench points. However, WashU scored 38 points in the paint while Wheaton scored 24 points in the paint.
Wheaton’s individual standouts in their final game included junior Devin Kyler who scored 12 points and added eight rebounds to her season total to make her Wheaton’s 14th-ranked all-time rebounder with 586 career rebounds. Senior Kelly Lawson finished her collegiate basketball career with a double-digit scoring game (11 points) which moved her up to Wheaton’s 21st all-time scorer with 976 career points.
Wheaton sophomore Hannah Frazier scored 10 points against WashU, and her 102 season total of free throws this year is Wheaton’s 10th-highest single season total of all-time. On March 13, Frazer was named to the All-Central Region Second Team by D3hoops.com.
The Men’s Basketball season ended before spring break, but Wheaton junior Aston Francis received high honors as an individual player this week. D3hoops.com named Francis the Central Region Player of the Year. This marks the sixth time that Wheaton College has had a player receive the honor, which is the most of any program in the central region. Francis was also named to the 2017-18 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-Central Region Team.