WHEATON, Ill. – No. 25 Illinois Wesleyan built up a 19-point halftime lead and held off a late rally to upset No. 8 Wheaton (Ill.) 83-80 in the first College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin game of the year on Wednesday at King Arena.
With the win, Illinois Wesleyan improved to 9-3 overall and 1-0 in the CCIW, while Wheaton is 10-2 and 0-1 in the league.
The Titans led by a 45-26 score at halftime and were ahead by as many as 23 points at 57-34 with 14:47 remaining in the contest.
The Titans shot 43.3 percent from the field and made 4-of-11 3-point shots (36.4 percent). IWU was 27-of-40 from the free throw line (67.5 percent). The Thunder finished at 45.0 percent from the field, connected on 7-of-21 from beyond the 3-point stripe and hit 19 of 29 free throws.
Junior Brady Zimmer led scoring for Illinois Wesleyan with 20 points and three assists.
Illinois Wesleyan held a convincing 50-32 edge in rebounds against Wheaton and the Titans committed 13 turnovers compared to eight for the Thunder.
“Winning [conference games] on road is hard to do so this is a good win,” Illinois Wesleyan head coach Ron Rose said. “We played a great first half, really defended well and allowed them just one offensive rebound. Then we hit some big free throws at the end of the game.”