BLOOMINGTON — Illinois Wesleyan's basketball captains are chosen by Titan players "and confirmed by the coaches," according to head coach Ron Rose.
Both groups' choices looked spot on Saturday at Shirk Center.
Junior captains Brady Rose and Colin Bonnett combined to score 14 points during a 16-0 deciding surge as IWU turned back Elmhurst, 87-75, before a crowd of 1,000.
"A good offense finds your scorers in the right spots," Ron Rose said. "There were times we didn't do that. But down the stretch I loved our guys' composure."
The Titans, who trailed 71-68, improved to 11-3 overall and 4-1 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.
Brady Rose matched a career best with 35 points and Bonnett had a career-high 23. The pair drilled 10 of 14 from 3-point range and connected on 12 of 13 free throws.
"We're all leaders. but it's primarily on us to get the team going," said the younger Rose. "They played really hard. As the season has gone on, we've gotten better at getting stops at the end."
Bonnett's 3-pointer with 4:44 left forged a 71-all tie and two free throws each from Jason Gregoire and Brady Rose pushed the Wesleyan edge to 75-71.
Rose then reeled off nine straight points on a 3-pointer, a driving bucket and four free throws.
"We played a good game," Elmhurst coach and former IWU player John Baines said. "I was a little disappointed we let Brady go off as much as he did. Ron's team was a little more poised down the stretch. We're getting there, we just panicked a little."
Bonnett and Brady Rose led a Titan long-range shooting effort that finished with 13 3 pointers in 21 attempts.
"They are definitely a scrappy team. For 36 minutes, the game didn't go the way we wanted," said Bonnett. "Then we just clicked. We got a stop and a score, a stop and a score and built it to 10."
Elmhurst (9-4, 2-2) missed its first 11 from 3-point range and were 4 of 19 overall from long distance. At one point in the second half, the Bluejays had converted 21 of 29 shots inside the arc.
Jeremy Ireland topped Elmhurst with 22 points and eight rebounds. Dwight High School graduate Justin Fox chipped in 11 points off the bench. Jake Rhode had 10 points and eight assists.
"We didn't execute as well at both ends as we did a few nights ago," Ron Rose said of a win over No. 2-ranked Augustana. "But no one said it was going to be easy. That's a very good team."
Jaylen Beasley contributed 10 points and a team-best seven rebounds for IWU, which shot a season-best 54 percent from the field (27 of 50).
The first half saw ties at 14 and 20 before the Titans charged to a 32-25 edge on a Beasley 3-pointer at the 3:50 mark.
A Brady Rose 3-pointer reestablished a seven-point IWU lead at the 1:11 mark, but Elmhurst whittled that deficit to 38-35 entering halftime.