Wheaton College tops Edgewood 73-62 in NCAA Tournament Second Round
River Falls, Wis. – The Wheaton men's basketball team (23-6) advanced in the NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday night with a 73-62 victory against Edgewood College (23-7) in the tournament's second round at UW-River Falls. Wheaton will face UW-Whitewater in a Sectional Semifinal next Friday. The NCAA will announce game times and site location by Monday morning.
All-American forward Tim McCrary led the Thunder with 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the field. The senior grabbed nine rebounds, with four assists. Aaron Garriott scored 16 points, with seven assists. Jeremy Pflederer shot 4-for-9 from three-point range in scoring 14 points. Tyler Peters added 13 points, with four rebounds for Wheaton.
Wheaton head coach Mike Schauer said of his team's win, "This was a hard fought win against a very good and persistent Edgewood team." Schauer continued, "I thought we had a lot of guys play really well. I thought Aaron Garriott was really special and controlled the tempo of the game and made a lot of decisions and passes that made for easy baskets for other people."
The two teams battled back and forth over the first seven-and-a-half minutes when Wheaton turned Edgewood's 15-14 lead into a 23-15 lead for the Thunder thanks to Wheaton's nine unanswered points. The Eagles countered with a 13-0 run to take a 28-23 lead with 1:32 left in the first half. Wheaton scored the final five points of the first half to account for a 28-28 tie at halftime.
Wheaton outscored the Eagles 11-4 over the first four minutes of the second half to build a 39-32 lead. Wheaton used key shots and good defense to extend its lead further at 57-42 with 8:45 left in regulation. Wheaton built its largest lead at 17 points with a 62-45 edge with 6:25 left in regulation, when the Eagles pressed the Thunder and created a 16-3 scoring edge to cut Wheaton's lead to 65-61 with 1:09 left in regulation. Wheaton was able to hold off the Eagles in the final minute to earn the victory.
Ben Wisniewski led Edgewood with 16 points and Kent Faurote added 15 points, with six rebounds. Derek Nkemnji scored 10 points, with five assists.
Wheaton shot a sparkling 78.9% (15-19) from the field in the second half, with a 63.6% (28-44) field goal percentage on the night. The 'Orange and Blue' had a 37.5% (6-16) three-point field goal percentage and 68.8% (11-16) at the free throw line. Edgewood had a 44.9% (22-49) field goal percentage, with 30% (3-10) from three-point range and 78.9% (15-19) at the charity stripe. Edgewood held a 25-24 advantage in rebounding, with an 8-3 edge on the offensive glass.