ELMHURST — The Illinois Wesleyan basketball team scored 18 straight points early in the second half and made it stand up for a 93-76 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin victory over Elmhurst on Wednesday at Faganel Hall.
The 18th-ranked Titans received nine points from Zach Knobloch on a trio of 3-pointers and eight points from Jason Gregoire in the pivotal stretch that transformed a 48-40 deficit into a 58-48 lead.
“The second half the guys were really determined. We defended better and certainly rebounded better,” IWU coach Ron Rose said. “Certainly Zach getting hot was a huge boost for our team.”
IWU (15-3 overall, 8-1 in the CCIW) won its seventh straight game.
The Titans led 80-61 before Elmhurst (11-7, 4-5) sliced its deficit to 83-74. Another Knobloch 3-pointer quelled the Bluejays’ uprising.
Brady Rose topped Wesleyan with 20 points. Knobloch was 6 of 8 from 3-point range and his 19 points were his highest total since Nov. 17.
Gregoire chipped in a career-high 17 points, Jaylen Beasley added 13 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season and Alex O’Neill had 10 points.
“Those guys’ comfort level with our offense and their confidence is really growing,” Ron Rose said of Knobloch and Gregoire. “The fact we had five in double figures really makes you hard to guard."
Derek Dotlich paced Elmhurst with 18 points off the bench. Jeremey Ireland had 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Dwight High School product Justin Fox had 12 points.
The Titans led by 11 (24-13) and trailed by seven (38-31) before heading to halftime facing a 40-36 deficit.
The Bluejays shot 58 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes compared to 48 percent for IWU.