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Illinois Wesleyan's Jordan Nelson goes up for a shot against Millikin's Nick Novak in the first half of Wednesday night's game at Shirk Center in Bloomington. Nelson scored 28 points in the Titans' 93-60 romp. For more photos, visit online at

BLOOMINGTON  Millikin basketball coach Matt Nadelhoffer asked if Illinois Wesleyan senior Jordan Nelson missed a shot Wednesday at Shirk Center.

When told Nelson did indeed miss once, Nadelhoffer replied, "He probably got fouled."

Nelson was that good. The 6-foot-1 guard from Lincoln bombed in 7 of 8 shots from 3-point range and 9 of 10 overall en route to a career-high 28 points in IWU's 93-60 shellacking of the Big Blue before a crowd of 1,000.

"It's always good to see the first couple go down, but credit to my teammates for finding me when I was open," Nelson said. "Our screening has gotten so much better. It's so much easier to get open."

Nelson's barrage was part of a sizzling 16 of 26 (61.5 percent) Titan performance from beyond the arc as Wesleyan hiked its record to 11-4 overall and 3-1 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.

"I don't think anyone in the CCIW beats them when they shoot like that," said Nadelhoffer. "We did a poor job getting out to shooters. Unfortunately, I think we woke up a giant. They haven't been shooting that well."

IWU coach Ron Rose was pleased with Nelson's effort to free himself for shots.

"You know Jordan can shoot it," Rose said. "What impressed me was his hard cutting to get open. And our guys recognized the need to screen for him. He's really hard to guard when he moves like that."

The Titans bolted from a 4-4 tie with a 18-2 surge that featured two Nelson 3-pointers and one each from Dylan Overstreet, Bryce Dolan and Alec Bausch.

"I love the energy we brought from the tip," Rose said. "Our tempo on offense was really good. Defensively, we had to become more active and we were."

Millikin, which coaxed in just three of its first 16 shots, watched Nelson follow a Joel Pennington 3-pointer with one of his own from well beyond the key.

"You've got to cut hard throughout the game," said Nelson. "It can't be here and there, then they know you're going to be involved in the play. And if you're cutting hard, you're getting other guys open for lobs over the top."

The Big Blue's TJ Griffin hit a free throw with 6.1 seconds left in the half. But when Griffin missed the second, Titan Andy Stempel grabbed the rebound and passed to Overstreet, whose layup at the buzzer sent the Titans into halftime with a 52-30 advantage.

Millikin (6-9, 1-3) scored the first seven points of the second half but could not continue chipping away at IWU's substantial lead.

Pennington scored a career-high 14 points for the Titans, who shot 55.4 percent from the field (31 of 56). Overstreet chipped in 11 points and Dolan nine.

Griffin paced the Big Blue, who shot 35 percent from the floor, with 21 points. University High product Bryn Agnew had eight.

IWU senior Brandon Heyen, who has missed all of the past two seasons with numerous ankle problems, saw his first game action since the 2011-12 season.

The Paxton native scored two points and grabbed a rebound in five minutes.

"It actually gives you chills," Rose said. "I was thrilled to see him out on the court. It was really a great moment for our team."

Bloomington's TJ Sims, Millikin's No. 2 scorer as a freshman, did not play for the second straight game because of an injury. Nadelhoffer hopes to have Sims back by Saturday.



Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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