December 7, 2017
After beating Millikin on Saturday, Dec. 2, Wheaton lost a nail-biter to IWU yesterday night.
Against Millikin, the Thunder boomed onto the court early and pulled ahead 13-3 before the first five minutes of the game had passed.
Junior Aston Francis said, “I thought we executed our offense really well against Millikin. We did a good job of moving the ball and getting good shots.”
By halftime, Wheaton was ahead by 18-points with a score of 46-28. However, later in the game, Millikin was able to have a 12-2 run and get within seven points of the Thunder.
Then, Wheaton had an 11-2 run to make the score 67-55 with under eight minutes left in the game, and Millikin was unable to regain ground. The final score was 78-68.
“Our biggest success was probably our ball movement on offense,” junior Reagan Jones said. “We were able to shoot the ball pretty well and when we share it like we did the other night we can be a really proficient offensive team.”
Every offensive shooting percentage (free throws, field goals and three-pointers) was advantaged to Wheaton over Millikin.
“We definitely could have done a better job on the glass. All five of the guys on the floor had to help out on rebounds because Millikin is such an athletic team,” Francis said. Millikin did out-rebound the Thunder 35-29 during the game.
Francis lead the Thunder with 31 points, making four three-pointers throughout the contest.
Going into yesterday’s IWU game, Jones said that “tonight is all about Brady Rose,” and the game really was all about Brady Rose.
IWU’s senior guard, Rose lead his team to a tight victory over the Thunder, and he scored 26 points during the game.
Francis said that Wheaton needed to focus on limiting IWU’s three-point opportunities if the Thunder wanted to beat them. IWU had 26 three-point attempts and made nine. Wheaton had 32 three-point attempts and made 11. IWU did outscore the Thunder in the paint 34-28. Ultimately, the IWU game came down to the last two minutes. Senior Ricky Samuelson was able to put Wheaton up 76-74 with 1:40 left in the game, but then IWU senior Jaylen Beasley made a three-pointer at 1:28 to put themselves up 77-76. Francis was fouled, missed his first free-throw attempt, but then made the second, tying the game at 77-77 with 1:09 left. Rose was fouled and made both of his free-throws to put IWU up 79-77 with 48 second left. Francis was fouled again, but he made both free-throws this time to tie the game at 79’s. Beasley made another three-pointer to put IWU up 82-79, leaving Wheaton one second to try to score. The Thunder could not tie the game to send it to overtime, and IWU ended up winning the game 82-79.
Wheaton is travelling for an away conference matchup on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 4 p.m. at Elmhurst College.
December 7, 2017