Wheaton men's basketball tops Illinois Wesleyan 86-77 for first season sweep of the Titans since 2009-10

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Wheaton, Ill. – The Wheaton men's basketball team topped Illinois Wesleyan (11-8, 4-6 CCIW) 86-77 on Wednesday night in King Arena. Tonight's win gives the Thunder the season sweep of the regular season schedule, the first season sweep of IWU since 2009-10 and the sixth time Wheaton has swept the Titans since Wheaton rejoined the CCIW in 1967-68. The Thunder improve to 14-5 overall and 7-3 CCIW as Wheaton heads to Carthage Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff with the Red Men.

Aston Francis scored 45 points tonight for the hosts. He extended his school record to eight career 40-point games and becomes the first player in program history to have back-to-back outings of more than 40 points. Francis made six three-pointers and was a perfect 15-of-15 at the free throw line. He also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.

Senior Luke Peters tallied 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and he distributed a game-high seven assists. Nyameye Odom scored seven points with six rebounds. Anajuwon Spencer, Trevor Gunter and Luke Anthony each scored six points for the hosts. Gunter grabbed eight rebounds and Spencer Peterson added three assists.

Wheaton shot 50.9% (27-of-53) from the field, including 36.8% (7-of-19) behind the three-point line. The Titans had 33.3% (26-of-84) field goal percentage in the game, including a 20.6% (7-of-34) three-point field goal percentage. Illinois Wesleyan out-rebounded the Thunder 50-38, including a 23-4 edge on the offensive glass.

Wheaton built a 16-9 lead with 12:15 remaining in the first half. The Titans countered with a 10-2 run to give the guests a 19-18 advantage with 8:10 remaining in the opening half. Francis made three-pointers on back-to-back trips down the court to spark a 12-3 Thunder run that gave Wheaton a 30-21 advantage with 4:10 left before halftime. Wheaton held a nine-point lead at 32-23 with 3:02 left in the first half Wheaton IWU's Colin Bonnett made pair of free throws to begin a string of seven unanswered points as the Titan run trimmed the Thunder lead to 32-30 at halftime.

Wheaton out-scored the guests 12-6 in the first 4:15 of the second half as the Thunder increased its lead to 44-36 with 15:45 left in the game. The hosts never trailed in the second half tonight. The Titans' Peter Lambesis converted a traditional three-point play with 5:50 remaining in the contest to cut Wheaton's lead to 63-61. The two-point margin was the closest the Titans would get for the remainder of the game.

A Peters Layup with 4:36 left in the game increased Wheaton's lead to 70-63 and Adom converted a traditional three-point play at the 3:36 mark to give the hosts a 10-point lead at 73-63. Wheaton shot 11-of-14 at the free throw line in the final 2:31 of the game to earn the 12-point lead.

Brady Rose led the Titans with 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Jason Gregoire tallied 12 points with three assists for the guests. Doug Walled scored nine points with eight rebounds and Danny Baker added seven points with eight rebounds.

Note Worthy: Francis' effort tonight gives him 1,939 career points to become the fifth player in program history to surpass 1,900 career points…he passed Tom Dykstra's (1966-70) 1,905 career points tonight for fourth place on Wheaton's all-time scoring list…Francis now has 629 points this season, moving up seven places tonight on Wheaton's single-season scoring list into eighth place…the senior has 612 career field goals and is tied for 11th place in career field goals with Donn Nelson (1982-86)…Luke Peters' seven assists tonight moves him into ninth place on the program's career assists list with 319.