Wheaton (Ill.) gets opening-round win
Schultze top Thunder performer with 20 points, four blocks
RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- Wheaton (Ill.) defeated Gustavus Adolphus 68-60 on Friday night in the first-round NCAA tournament play.
Spencer Schultze led the Thunder with 20 points, five rebounds and four blocked shots. Jeremy Pflederer scored 15 points on 5-8 shooting, including three 3-pointers. Tim McCrary scored 11 points, with seven rebounds, four assists and five steals. Tyler Peters contributed 10 points, with six rebounds and four assists.
Wheaton jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the first 4:50 of the game. The Gusties responded with 11 unanswered points to take a 15-10 lead. Wheaton regained the lead thanks to a 14-4 run that allowed the Thunder to hold a 24-19. Wheaton remained in the lead at halftime, holding a 28-23 edge at the halftime.
Wheaton scored the first six points of the second half to take a 34-23 lead. Gustavus responded with its own 6-0 run to cut Wheaton’s lead to 34-29. Wheaton again countered, this time with an 11-2 run to extend its lead to 45-31. The Gusties out-scored Wheaton 16-5 over a span of 5:30 to cut Wheaton’s lead to 50-47 with 7:35 left in the game.
Consecutive baskets by Peters increased Wheaton’s lead to 54-47. The Gusties trimmed Wheaton’s lead to 57-53, however, Pflederer buried a big 3-point basket with 2:50 left in the game to extend Wheaton’s lead to 60-53. Following a pair of Gustavus free throws, McCrary cut to the basket for the layup and a 62-55 Wheaton lead.
Gustavus’ Tyler Gray hit a 3-pointer to trim Wheaton’s lead to 62-58. A McCrary basket was followed by a Gustavus field goal for a 64-60 Wheaton lead with 15-seconds left. A pair of free throws by Aaron Garriott and another pair by McCrary helped Wheaton secure the win.
Seth Anderson led Gustavus Adolphus with 22 points and James Hill added 13 points, with 10 rebounds.
Wheaton shot 48 percent (26-54) from the field, including 56 percent (14-25) in the second half. The Thunder made 44 percent (4-9) of its 3-point attempts and went12-19 for 63 percent at the free throw line.
Gustavus Adolphus shot 40 percent (24-60) from the field, 28 percent (4-14) from 3-point range and 66 percent (8-12) at the charity stripe. Each team collected 36 rebounds and the Thunder held a 14-11 edge on the offensive glass.