ROCK ISLAND — Trailing for almost the entire game, the Illinois Wesleyan basketball team saw a late surge come up short in an 88-79 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin loss to Augustana on Wednesday at Carver Center.
The No. 9-ranked Vikings (8-3) pulled within one game of the No. 14 Titans (9-2) in the CCIW standings. Both teams are 16-4 overall. North Central also is 8-3 in league play.
IWU, which had starters Alex O'Neill, Colin Bonnett and Brady Rose foul out, saw an eight-game winning streak snapped. The Titans had also won nine consecutive CCIW contests.
“When your three leading scorers foul out, it certainly changes your rotation and how you play," IWU coach Ron Rose said.
Wesleyan whittled an 80-72 deficit to one with the help of six straight Bonnett points. Bonnett's 3-pointer at the 1:55 mark brought the Titans within 80-79.
But IWU would not score again, missing its final five shots.
Meanwhile, Augustana was 8 of 8 at the free-throw line over the final 1:06 with Nolan Ebel and Chrishawn Orange each hitting four in as many attempts.
Bonnett scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the second half, and Jason Gregoire added a career-high 18.
“For facing as much adversity as we did, I’m very proud of our guys to compete and give ourselves a chance," said Ron Rose.
Brady Rose saw a streak of eight straight games with 20 or more points snapped. He finished with 16 and was 4 of 16 from the field, 0 of 4 from 3-point range and 8 of 9 at the foul line.
IWU was whistled for 31 fouls to 25 for Augustana. The Vikings sank 29 of 37 free throws, while the Titans were 21 of 31 at the line.
Augustana received 21 points each from Ebel and Dylan Sortillo. Orange chipped in 14.
The Vikings shot 51 percent from the floor (26 of 51) and 7 of 13 from beyond the arc. The Titans were 25 of 60 (42 percent) and 8 of 22, respectively.
Jaylen Beasley grabbed a team-high six rebounds for Wesleyan, which lost the battle of the boards, 39-30.