Titans Breeze Into Final 16 With 37-Point Win
CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. - The Illinois Wesleyan women's basketball team returns to the round of 16 in the NCAA Division III tournament for the fourth straight year after an 87-50 win at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky., on Saturday (March 3).
Illinois Wesleyan improved to 24-5 and will play No. 6-ranked Mount Union (28-1) on Friday at a site to be determined. Mount Union was a 61-55 winner over Muhlenberg in the second round.
The other two teams in the sectional will be Carthage (22-7) and No. 22-ranked Centre (26-3). Carthage upset No. 4-ranked DePauw 53-48 and Centre eliminated Washington U., 57-55.
The Titans got off to a terrific start for the second straight night, leading 12-1 early and by 28 points at halftime, 49-21, forcing 16 first half turnovers while shooting 57 percent (20 of 35).
Junior Melissa Gardner had career-high 25 points as she was 8 for 9 from the field and connected on all seven of her 3-point shots. Senior Olivia Lett added 14.points and sophomore Shelby Jackson scored 10.
The Titans shot 51.5 percent from the field (35 of 68) and made 9 of 18 3-point tries while sinking 8 of 11 free throws. IWU held a 40-27 edge on the boards with a team-high six from Lett.
Thomas More, whose season ends with a 25-5 record, shot just 32.6 percent in the entire game (15 of 46) and made just 6 of 24 from 3-point range. For the game the Saints were guilty of 25 turnovers to only 15 for IWU.
Allison Long and Jill Brunsman each scored 12 to lead Thomas More while Moriah Corey scored 10 and had a game-high eight rebounds.
NOTES: Illinois Wesleyan has a 13-9 record in NCAA Division III play...Gardner's previous high game was 21 points, against Augustana on Jan. 11 and against North Park on Jan. 7 this year...