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WHITTIER, Calif. — Ashley Schneider had 18 points and 10 rebounds Saturday night to lead Illinois Wesleyan's women's basketball team past host Whittier, 56-48, in the Whittier Purple and Gold Poet Classic, giving Coach Mia Smith her 400th career victory.

Maddie Merritt added 15 points, all in the second half, as the Titans (11-2) won their ninth straight game and boosted Smith's record to 400-165 in 21 seasons.

"I'm super excited to do it with this group of girls," Smith said. "They worked really hard to get the win. It wasn't a pretty win, but they always do a super job of finding ways to win. I really appreciate their effort."

Merritt also had 10 rebounds in helping IWU to a 43-34 advantage on the boards.

"We talked about winning the rebounding war and the fourth quarter made a difference," Smith said. "We also got the ball inside and that made a huge difference."

Sydney Shanks contributed 11 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Titans. Kendall Sosa also had three assists as IWU won despite making only 3 of 19 from 3-point range.

The Titans, who trailed by eight points in the third quarter, shot 35 percent overall while Whittier was 16 of 61 for 26 percent. 

IWU was 15 of 20 from the free-throw line, led by Merritt's 6 of 6. 

Cali Cubel had 10 points and Teani White nine to lead Whittier (5-5).

Smith said Schneider "had a game that she really needed to have."

"It was great to see her break out of her slump," the IWU coach added.

The Titans take on College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin rival Wheaton at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Shirk Center.

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