BLOOMINGTON — Zach Knobloch didn’t enjoy Colin Lake’s outlandish display of long-range shooting in Chicago on Jan. 13.
Yet the Illinois Wesleyan sophomore couldn’t help but admire it.
“When someone gets hot like that, you’ve just got to respect it because there’s not much you can do it stop it,” Knobloch said. “When you get into a zone like that, it’s hard to guard someone. He’s a scorer. That’s what he does.”
Lake, North Park’s 5-foot-7 senior, gunned in 9 of 12 from 3-point range and set a record for an IWU opponent with 46 points in the Titans’ 76-75 win. Lake and the Vikings visit Shirk Center for a 7 p.m. College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin game Saturday.
“We’ve gone over film and certainly we need to improve in certain areas. But there is also a degree of difficulty in the shots he was making you hope he isn’t going to duplicate,” said Wesleyan coach Ron Rose. “We were fortunate to get out of there with a win.
"He had a really good game going, but it became a game he will remember forever (with 10 points in the final 1:26).”
Knobloch is a 3-point shooter of some repute himself for the No. 18-ranked Titans, who have won seven in a row and stand at 15-3 overall and 8-1 atop the CCIW.
A sophomore transfer from Wisconsin-Whitewater, Knobloch is 12 of 20 from 3-point range over the past three games after a five-game stretch of 2 of 14 shooting.
“I think his improved shooting is a direct correlation to his comfort on the court,” Rose said. “As he has played more, he’s more comfortable where he should be going and how we run our offense and where he’s going to get his shots.”
Knobloch, who set a school record with 10 3-pointers in his second game as a Titan, does not analyze his shooting whether he shoots well or poorly.
“I know I can shoot the ball. I know what I’m capable of doing,” he said. “If I’m not making ’em, I’ll just do better on defense and do other things to help the team.”
Rose calls the release on Knobloch’s shot “one of the quickest I’ve ever seen. If he has a fraction of a second, he can get it off. He’s valuable whether he’s making shots or not. No one in their right mind if going to leave him (open). He’s either stretching the floor or he’s making shots.”
North Park (4-13, 1-8) has lost six straight. Lake is averaging 21.0 points with 6-3 junior Billy Kirby at 12.5. The Vikings are last in the CCIW in rebounding margin (minus 7.2), scoring (64.9), field goal percentage (40.9) and field goal percentage defense (50.1).
Wesleyan junior Brady Rose is second in the CCIW in scoring at 22.8. The younger Rose has scored 20 or more points in eight straight games.
IWU sophomore Miles Curry missed a win over Elmhurst on Wednesday because of illness. Curry returned to practice Friday and may be available Saturday.
Tournament expansion: Ron Rose is in favor of the CCIW’s decision to expand the conference tournament from four to six teams beginning next season.
“I think in any given year there are at least six good teams in the CCIW,” said the IWU coach. “Last year we had an NCAA (Tournament) caliber team. We were one game short. We could have really used a six-team tournament. I think it’s a good thing.”