WOOSTER, Ohio — Illinois Wesleyan saw a 15-point halftime lead slip away but a basket with 18 seconds left by Eliud Gonzalez provided the Titans with a 69-67 sectional semifinal win at Wooster on Friday.
Victor Davis was the Titans’ leading scorer with 18 points and IWU got terrific contributions off the bench as Stephen Rudnicki scored 13 and Andrew Ziemnik added 11.
Gonzalez handed out seven assists in addition to scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds.
John Koschnitzky led IWU with eight rebounds as the Scots out-rebounded IWU by a narrow 33-32 margin.
Illinois Wesleyan built an early eight-point lead at 8-0 but the Scots battled back to tie the score at 23-23 with 8:28 to go in the half. The Titans then went on a 10-0 run, and later ended the first half up 42-27.
The Titans’ lead increased to 17 with the first basket of the second half and IWU led 60-51 with 9:16 remaining. The Scots then went on an eight-point run to close to 60-59 before eventually tying the game at 64-64 with 3:39 remaining.
A free throw by Ziemnik and a basket by Davis gave IWU a 67-64 lead before Wooster’s Justin Hallowell knocked in a 3-pointer to tie the score at 67-67. The teams exchanged misses before Gonzalez scored the eventual game-winner with his baseline jumper.
Illinois Wesleyan went 26-62 from the field (42 percent) and 9-23 from the 3-point line (39 percent) while making eight of 12 free throws.
Wooster shot 49 percent (24-49) from the field and went 6-15 (40 percent) from 3-point range. The Scots, who committed 15 turnovers, made 13 of their 19 free throw attempts (68 percent).
The Scots had four players in double figures, led by 13 each from Doug Thorpe and Josh Claytor, who missed two free throws with two seconds remaining.
Claytor and Hallowell each tallied seven rebounds.