JACKSONVILLE - The Illinois College women's basketball team knocked off the No. 1-ranked Division III squad in the nation Dec. 11 with a victory over Millikin.
The Illinois College men were afforded the same opportunity Saturday as Illinois Wesleyan visited Sherman Gymnasium.
And even though they may have been very good Blueboys all year, there isn't near enough room in Santa Claus' sleigh to deliver that big of an upset.
IWU held Illinois College to 19 percent first-half shooting and wasted no time in putting away the overmatched Blueboys en route to an 85-57 nonconference victory before a crowd of 1,103.
"Any time you play a team like that, you want to make a statement right away," said IWU senior forward Keelan Amelianovich. "We did that defensively and offensively."
IWU has won its first seven games for the second straight season. Illinois College dropped to 4-3.
"The first half we played really good," Wesleyan coach Scott Trost said. "Our focus was good and we had a lot of energy."
The Titans scored the first seven points and led 9-4 before reeling off an 18-0 spurt for a 27-4 margin.
"It was the kind of a game where we knew they weren't our caliber," said senior guard Jason Fisher said. "We usually play to our competition. But we stayed focused, got a big lead early and never let them come back."
Amelianovich scored 12 points on 4 of 5 shooting from 3-point range, and Fisher chipped in 10 of his season-high 12 points in the first half as the Titans enjoyed a 47-18 margin at the break.
"Keelan is as good of a shooter as you'll see," Trost said.
Amelianovich finished 7 of 10 from the field and 5 of 6 from beyond the arc for a game-high 19 points.
"When we get out to a lead and keep running," said Amelianovich, "it's hard for any team to keep us with us."
Illinois College shot a bit better in the second half (37 percent) and ended at 29 percent (19 of 66). Wesleyan was 30 of 59 for 51 percent.
The Blueboys did slice a 40-point deficit to 27 at one juncture and outscored the Titans by a point in the second half.
"I guess it's human nature to relax when you're up 30 at the half," Trost said. "But you have to give them credit for not quitting as well. It was a good win on the road."
Two statistics Trost won't be pleased with are his team's season-worst 15 of 30 free-throw shooting and Illinois College's 17 offensive rebounds.
Adam Dauksas contributed 11 points, 11 assists and six rebounds for IWU, while Zach Freeman added 10 points and eight rebounds. Wesleyan outrebounded the Blueboys, 54-36.
Andrew Freeman, who has been sidelined with a lower leg injury, saw his first action of the season and scored two points.
Joe Womble paced Illinois College with 11 points.
"We did a great job pushing the ball in the first half and got them tired," Fisher said. "This is a momentum builder for Tuesday."
The Titans meet No. 14 Hanover Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in an eagerly anticipated matchup at Shirk Center. Hanover knocked IWU out of last season's NCAA Division III Tournament at Shirk Center.
The Illinois College student section had fun despite the lopsided score, offering a light-hearted "Over-rated" chant at the Titans with the home team behind by 27 and yelling in unison "We're Down 40" after a Dauksas free throw put the second-half margin at 67-27.