Men’s basketball sweeps Sikma Hall of Fame Invitational

Emily Thompson

Senior Cody Mitchell facing down a Flying Dutchman in the first leg of the Invitational.
Photo: Kodiak Creative

Illinois Wesleyan men’s basketball now stands 3-0 for the season so far after victories over Hope and UW-Oshkosh. The Titans took on the Flying Dutchmen and the UW Titans in a nail-biting, two-day competition for the Sikma Hall of Fame Invitational title. 

 

On the first day of play, the Titans toppled the Flying Dutchmen 87-74. Junior Cody Mitchell led the Titans to victory alongside senior Cory Noe.

 

Mitchell tallied the first double-double of his collegiate career against Hope, picking up a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds. Noe followed suit, adding 26 points on 9-of-13 shots.

 

Senior Peter Lambesis trailed close behind Mitchell and Noe with 18 points added to the Titans’ total. 

 

IWU started the tournament and the season off hot with a 56.7 percent shot average, carding 34-of-60 against Hope. The Flying Dutchmen led in turnovers (20-6), second chance points (16-12) and offensive rebounds. 

 

But they fell behind in shots, assists (13-9) and free throws, leading to a Titan victory. 

 

Beside Mitchell, Noe and Lambesis, junior Lucas Heflen helped bring the Titans to an early lead. By halftime, the Titans broke from the court at a comfortable 41-27. 

 

The Flying Dutchmen never managed to close the gap, leaving the final score at 87-74 by the end of the second half. 

 

On the second day of the Sikma Hall of Fame tournament, Illinois Wesleyan and UW-Oshkosh had a Titan faceoff. The IWU Titans took home the victory with a narrow 65-63 margin. 

 

After an impressive two days, Noe was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Senior co-captain Matthew Leritz was also celebrated with a spot on the all-tournament team. 

 

Senior co-captain Noe also garnered the first nationally-ranked honor of his collegiate career following the tournament, stealing a spot on D3hoops.com’s Team of the Week. 

 

D3hoops.com is a website dedicated to Division III college basketball and releases a weekly fantasy lineup to compile some of the best players of the past week.

 

Leritz notched his second double-double of the season already, with two team-highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Noe contributed an additional 13 points and seven rebounds against Oshkosh. He also managed two steals for Wesleyan.

 

Junior Luke Yoder shot four-of-seven for nine points and led the Titans with four assists. Sophomore Ryan Sroka contributed seven points and Lambesis added a layup. 

 

Oshkosh took a point lead only once in the game, nailing a three-pointer late in the second half. IWU made short work of recovering. 

 

Leritz added a three-pointer from the top of the key while Noe and Lambesis added shots. 

 

The Titans were back up 61-56. A series of final free throws by Noe kept IWU ahead until the timer ran out, finalizing the score at 65-63. 

 

The Illinois Wesleyan men’s basketball team will travel to Michigan for a pair of weekend games against Alma College on Friday, November 19 and Calvin University on Saturday, November 20.