Breaking records one game at a time

The Wheaton Thunder women’s basketball team has added another six games to their record in the last month — four wins and two losses. The first was on Dec. 10 against UW Oshkosh. The Titans were ranked 10th in the nation by and had a record of 6-0 so far this season. Wheaton was ranked 17th in the country at the time with a record of 6-2.
This, the final game before Christmas break, saw Oshkosh lead each quarter by a few points, which added up to a 53-65 Wheaton loss. During the game, senior guard Katie McDaniels moved up to third in program history with 392 career assists. The loss broke the Wheaton women’s six-game winning streak.
The ladies disbanded for break but returned for two games at the Poet Classic Tournament hosted by Whittier College on New Year’s weekend. Their first opponent was UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs whom they led in each quarter resulting in a decisive victory of 79-47. This game saw senior guard Ellie Zeller return to play after a season-ending injury last year. Zeller scored a solid seven points in her 14 minutes of play. Sophomore forward Devin Kyler racked up 14 rebounds and McDaniels led the team with 23 points.
On Dec. 30, the final game of 2016, Wheaton Thunder played the Whitworth Pirates. Thunder led for the entire game ending their time in the tournament with a second victory of 75-53. Kyler posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Seniors Katie McDaniels and Chantal Meacham and junior Kelly Lawson also scored in the double digits this game. This win brought Wheaton to an 8-2 overall record for 2016.
The fourth game was Jan. 4 against the Augustana Vikings (10-3). The Thunder worked together brilliantly to build a double digit lead by the second quarter. They maintained and lengthened this lead to bring about another win 80-69. This was another landmark game for McDaniels as she reached 400 assists. She is the third person in program history to reach the 400 mark, preceded only by Kerry Cole (463) and Amy Russel (450).
On Saturday Jan. 7, the Wheaton women played Illinois Wesleyan in a tense game. Each quarter saw the team within four points of each other. The Titans eventually pulled out the win when Amanda Kelly of IWU drained a three-pointer in the last 30 seconds of the game. Wheaton attempted a three-point shot in the last second of the game but was unsuccessful, making the final score 65-66. Zeller led the team with 19 points followed by McDaniels with 13.
Finally, on Wednesday night, the Thunder played Carroll University at home in King Arena. The women jumped out to an early 23-8 lead in the first quarter and never looked back as they coasted to a 73-43 win pushing the team’s record to 10-3 and 4-1 in the CCIW. Meacham led the Thunder with 20 points with McDaniels also pouring in 17 points and four assists. Continuing with the theme of breaking records, Meacham became only the second player in Wheaton history with 200 career three-pointers. McDaniels also became the first player in program history to make 500 career free throws.
The women will play at King Arena, again, on Saturday against Millikin University at 5 p.m.

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