CHICAGO — The Illinois Wesleyan basketball team survived a Lake effect storm of points Saturday at North Park Gymnasium.
Colin Lake, a 5-foot-7 senior, lit up the Titans for 46 points, but IWU hung on for a 76-75 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin victory.
"He was unbelievable. He was making shots nobody on the face of the earth except maybe Steph Curry is allowed to shoot," IWU coach Ron Rose said. "Twenty feet, 25, 30. We were trying to keep the ball out of his hands, but it was tough."
The Titans are 12-3 overall and take over sole possession of first place in the CCIW at 5-1, one-half game ahead of Wheaton and North Central at 5-2.
Wesleyan led 41-31 at halftime and saw that margin cut to six early in the second half.
But a 13-5 IWU surge that featured eight Brady Rose points and a Miles Curry dunk off a Rose assist extended the Titans' cushion to 58-44 with 10:44 remaining.
Wesleyan still held a 75-65 margin with 1:35 left. Lake responded with two 3-pointers and a pair of free throws over the next 1:21 to bring the Vikings (4-10, 1-5) within 76-73.
"We got a little conservative and the ball didn't move as crisply," said Coach Rose.
After Titan Jason Gregoire missed a free throw, Lake added two from the foul line with two seconds showing for the final score.
"We wanted to make sure a 3-point shot was not taken," Ron Rose said of the Jaylen Beasley foul.
Lake finished 15 of 24 shooting with 9 of 12 accuracy from 3-point range. Billy Kirby added 15 points for North Park.
Brady Rose paced the Titans with 29 points, connected on 5 of 9 from beyond the arc and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Colin Bonnett chipped in 16 points, while Alex O'Neill contributed 11 points, six rebounds and give assists.
"We played well at times, but we had too many possessions we did not execute the way we needed," said Coach Rose. "Our lack of consistency did not allow us to build up a big enough lead that it did not get interesting at the end."
North Park shot 45 percent from the field and was 13 of 30 from 3-point territory. Wesleyan ended at 47.4 percent shooting and hit 10 of 24 from long range.
"Any road win in the CCIW in a good win. We'll learn from it," Ron Rose said. "We're thrilled to get out of here with a win."