Jan. 4, 2009

Courtesy of Wheaton (Ill.)

GRINNELL, Iowa — The Wheaton College men’s basketball team posted a 130-109 victory at Grinnell College on Saturday afternoon. Wheaton set a school single-game record with an 80% (52-65) field goal percentage in the game. The previous record was 70.8% (34-48) in a in a 77-73 victory against Millikin on Dec. 5, 1978. The 130 points in today’s game is one point shy of Wheaton’s single-game scoring record of 131 points, set against Grinnell in a 131-117 victory against Grinnell in a First Round game of the 1995-96 NCAA Division III Tournament.

With the victory, Wheaton concludes its non-conference schedule with an 11-0 record. The Thunder, ranked second in the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25 poll, will open its conference schedule on Wednesday night with a 7:30 PM tipoff against 16th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan in King Arena. Grinnell is now 5-3 on the year.

The Pioneers led Wheaton 52-45 with 4:35 remaining in the first half. Wheaton out-scored the hosts 10-0 over a span of a little more than 2:30 to take a 55-52 lead with 2:10 remaining before halftime. The Thunder held a 61-59 lead at halftime.

Wheaton out-scored the Pioneers 26-6 over the first six minutes of the second half to hold an 85-65 lead with 14:00 remaining in the game. Wheaton’s largest lead of the game was a 28-point advantage at 99-71, with 9:55 left in the game. For the remainder of the second half Grinnell never came closer than a 15-point deficit at 103-88 with 7:20 left in the game.

Freshman Tim McCrary scored a career-high 32 points on 13-of-15 shooting from the field, with 12 rebounds and seven assists. All-American Kent Raymond scored 31 points on 10-for-13 shooting, with nine assists and an 11-for-12 effort at the free throw line. Junior Jake Carwell scored a career-high 25 points on 12-for-14 shooting and he added 11 rebounds. Ben Panner scored 12 points, with eight assists and six rebounds. Junior Jesse Viars scored eight points and #Brad Smith# contributed seven points.

Bobby Long led Grinnell with 27 points, making four three-pointers. David Arsenault scored 19 points, with 10 assists. John Grotberg scored 17 points, with five three-point field goals. Matt Skelly scored 12 points for the hosts.

Wheaton shot 27-for-35 in the first half to shoot 77.1% from the floor and posted an 83.3% (25-30) effort in the second half to account for the school-record 80% (52-65) field goal percentage. The Thunder was 0-for-4 on three-point attempts and the guests shot 72.2% (26-36) at the free throw line. Wheaton recorded 39 assists on 52 field goals. Grinnell posted a 39.5% (34-86) field goal percentage, with 37.3% (19-51) from three-point range and 73.3% (22-30) at the free throw line. Wheaton out-rebounded the Pioneers 49-26 and the Pioneers held a 16-7 edge on the offensive glass.