Try 1 month for $5

BLOOMINGTON — Jason Gregoire and Grant Wolfe did not score for Illinois Wesleyan in the first half Wednesday at Shirk Center.

Yet because of Gregoire and Wolfe, pretty much everyone else in green and white did.

Gregoire handed out six assists and Wolfe five over the opening 20 minutes and Brady Rose hit all seven of his shots as the Titans buried North Park with 72 percent first-half shooting en route to a comfortable 111-66 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin victory.

"That was a great way to finish up our regular season home schedule," Wesleyan coach Ron Rose said. "It was nice to get everybody in. After a slow start, I thought we really played hard and with a purpose."

While winning its fifth straight game, IWU locked up the No. 4 seed in the CCIW Tournament and will play host to a first round game on Tuesday against either Elmhurst or Carroll.

The Titans are 16-8 overall and 9-6 in the CCIW after scoring their most points in a conference game since 1993.

"We are in no position to take anything lightly, especially in the CCIW, " said Gregoire. "Every game is a must win so that's how we approach this game and every game from here on out."

North Park trailed just 14-12 with Vegard Tangen scoring 10 of his 14.

A Matt Leritz layup and two buckets from Charlie Bair ignited a 13-2 run. The Titans reeled off the final 13 points of the opening half with Brady Rose scoring five and Colin Bonnett and Bair tossing in 3-pointers.

"We did a really good job to set ourselves up to get open looks, screening bodies and getting to the right spots," Bonnett said. "We executed our offensive game plan to a T. And we turned it on defensively."

Two of Alex O'Neill's three dunks coupled with a Wolfe 3-pointer boosted the Titans' advantage to 78-45. IWU hit the century mark with 2:42 to go on the first two points of freshman Gavin Markgraff's career.

"We felt like it we just ran our offense and played the way we've been coached we would get the shots we wanted, and that's what happened," said Gregoire. "We did a good job playing inside out, driving the lane and finding the open shooters."

The Titans connected on 23 of 32 first-half shots and finished at 58 percent (43 of 74) while sinking 15 of 32 (47 percent) from beyond the arc.

"It's funny how that works," Ron Rose said. "When you shoot open, rhythm shots your percentage goes up."

North Park (4-20, 2-13 in the CCIW) dropped its 12th straight game.

"There has not been a game this year where the ball went up and we weren't ready to play," said Coach Rose. "This was another one of those."

Brady Rose had 16 of his 21 points in the first half. Bonnett chipped in 17, O'Neill 13 and Bair 10 with Peter Lambesis, Danny Baker and Cory Noe adding eight apiece.

Toby Marek topped the Vikings with 15 points. Wesleyan outrebounded North Park, 40-20.

IWU closes the regular season Saturday at Carroll.

Contact Randy Reinhardt at (309) 820-3403. Follow him on Twitter: @Pg_Reinhardt

0
0
0
0
0

Reporter

Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

Load comments