CHICAGO — Molly McGraw's 26 points powered the Illinois Wesleyan women's basketball team to a 96-63 season-opening victory over Colorado College in the University of Chicago Invitational on Friday.

"I thought we looked really good at times," said IWU coach Mia Smith. "There were a few times defensively that I thought we could have been better, but it was our first game out and I think there were some nerves.

"Our stats all looked really good. We gave up some easy baskets, which was my only criticism."

McGraw sank 11 of 22 shots from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, to help IWU outshoot its foe, 46.8 percent to 43.9 percent.

"She is just so athletic," Smith said. "Probably the most impressive part was her ability to score with the layup. They were just amazing layups."

The Titans also received 16 points from Maddie Merritt and 11 from freshman reserve Raven Hughes. Rebekah Ehresman chipped in eight points, seven assists and six rebounds while Sydney Shanks had six rebounds, six steals and five assists.

"All four freshmen looked so smooth," Smith said. "They didn't look nervous. They just went out and did their thing. Raven seemed to be all over the place defensively."

IWU forced 32 turnovers and committed just 12 while also outrebounding its opponent, 40-38.

Colorado College (0-1) was led by McKenzee Gertz's 13 points. Casey Torbet and Jade Odom added 11 apiece.

IWU's 9-of-20 night from 3-point range included 3-of-4 shooting by Kelsey Walsberg, who finished with nine points. Freshman Kendall Sosa added seven points and four assists in just 11 minutes of action.

The No. 25-nationally ranked Titans resume tourney play at 1 p.m. Saturday against host No. 22 Chicago (1-0). 

Follow Randy Sharer on Twitter: @PG_sharer

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Sports Writer

Sports Writer for The Pantagraph.

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