MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When faced with a 10-point halftime lead trimmed to three, Illinois Wesleyan scored 13 straight points Saturday to cast aside Millsaps, 80-59, at the Rhodes Thanksgiving Classic.
Millsaps (1-3) pulled within 52-49 before IWU's Brady Rose scored the next eight points and Alex O'Neill added the following five to send the Titans on their way to a fourth win in as many games.
"They made a run at us, and I like that we didn't panic," Wesleyan coach Ron Rose said. "I thought we really executed well during that stretch, and we knuckled down and got stops during that time."
Brady Rose paced all scorers with 20 points and O'Neill added 12. O'Neill was 5 of 7 shooting.
"Our focus is if Alex plays defense and rebounds, as skilled as he is offensively he's going to make baskets," said Ron Rose. "He did a nice job finishing plays, and he's going to keep getting better and better."
Jaylen Beasley contributed 11 points and nine rebounds for the Titans, while Zach Knobloch had 10 points.
IWU shot 44 percent from the field but just 31 percent (9 of 29) from 3-point range. Wesleyan was 4 of 18 from beyond the arc in the opening half and took a 36-26 edge into the break.
"We knew this was going to happen where we didn't shoot exceptionally well and had to rely on our defense and other aspects of our game," said Coach Rose. "We held a team to under 60 points and a low shooting percentage."
Michael Sullivan led the Majors with 13 points and Sexton Becker chipped in 10. Millsaps shot 39 percent from the field.
Wesleyan faces host Rhodes at 3 p.m. Sunday.