Men’s basketball taken out by UC-Concordia

Emily Thompson, Sports Editor

Photo: Kodiak Creative

The Illinois Wesleyan men’s basketball team dropped to 15-4 overall on Saturday, January 29 in an overtime loss to University of Chicago-Concordia. For the first time this season, the Titans lost 81-75 at home in Shirk Center. 

 

Senior Matthew Leritz paced the Titans throughout the game, contributing 23 points, six rebounds and a team-high four assists. Junior Luke Yoder followed closely with 15 points, alongside seniors Peter Lambesis and Cory Noe with 12 and 11 respectively. 

 

Sophomore Ryan Sroka also managed eight points and led the team for rebounds with seven. 

 

The first half had the Titans and the Cougars swapping points back-and-forth, never managing a lead over six. CUC managed an early recovery, serving up 13 second-chance points in the first ten minutes. 

 

The Titans held on to a 7-point streak to close out the first half. Lambesis contributed a lay-up and three pointer, while Yoder closed out the first half with a jump leaving the Cougars trailing 39-33. 

 

The second half proved much of the same. A nail-biting third quarter saw IWU and CUC trading off points once again. 

 

With 13:00 left, IWU widened the point gap again with a three-point lead. The Cougars fought back strong, garnering a nine-point run to take back their advantage. 

 

A three-pointer Lambesis on back-to-back possession pulled the Titans ahead again, 64-60, with less than five minutes left in the game. But the victory was short lived as Concordia took the lead back with only 43 seconds left. 

 

A bucket by Leritz with 20 seconds left to play tied the score up at 68. Noe attempted a game-winning shot on the Cougar’s possession but to no avail.

 

The game carried into overtime, allowing Leritz to pound out four more points, followed by a three-pointer from Noe, leaving the Titans up by one.

 

 The Cougars finished the game off on a 7-point run and a 4-for-4 from the charity stripe, to complete the upset of the No. 2 Titans.

 

The IWU men’s basketball team will return to Shirk for a conference game Monday, February 7 against North Park. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside the Shirk Center.