February 8 2018
Opening up February competition with two wins did not come easy for Men’s Basketball, but, as the CCIW tournament fast approaches, the Thunder have added two more conference victories to their record.
On Saturday, Feb. 3, Wheaton hosted the Elmhurst College Bluejays for a CCIW matchup. A rough start for the Thunder offensively led to Elmhurst maintaining steady control of the game for the first ten minutes. At one point, the Bluejays extended their lead to seven points. After that, the game stayed within three points as the lead swung Wheaton’s way and then Elmhurst’s way. A three-pointer by senior Aston Francis with four seconds cut Wheaton’s deficit to just one point at the end of the half.
At the beginning of the second half, sophomore Spencer Peterson helped get Wheaton back in front with a good tip-in and a good layup. Then Francis, junior Kobe Eichelberger, senior Ricky Samuelson and Peterson all put up strong second half points to edge the Thunder ahead by 11 points with just over ten minutes left in the game.
The Bluejays tried to get back in the game multiple times, but Wheaton controlled both sides of the court through the end of regulation. At one point, Wheaton separated themselves from Elmhurst by 19 points.
Last night Wheaton won an offense-heavy game against Illinois Wesleyan with a final score of 107-95. Wheaton had five players score double-digit point totals: Francis (36), junior Luke Peters (17), Samuelson (17) Eichelberger (16) and sophomore Jay Spencer (13).
Francis’ first shot of the game ended up scoring the Thunder three points after IWU scored the first two points of the game. Although the first half was back-and-forth offensively, Wheaton got their edge back at critical points to put them up 52 to 43 at the end of the first. Similarly to the end of the first half against Elmhurst, Francis sunk a quick three-pointer with five seconds left in the half to extend Wheaton’s lead.
Wheaton extended their lead to 28 points in the second half. The Titans were able to get within nine points of the Thunder with less than two minutes left in the game, but, by that point, it was too late for the Titans.
The Wheaton men’s basketball team will travel to North Park University for a CCIW matchup at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10.