Men’s basketball closes out record-breaking regular season

Emily Thompson, Sports Editor

Photo: IWU Athletics

The Illinois Wesleyan men’s basketball team has seen no shortage of accolades during the 2022 season. 

 

As a team, the Titans rank sixth in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin with an impressive 14-2 record this season. This week, D3hoops.com also placed IWU in fifth thanks to a record-setting 21-4 overall record. 

 

D3hoops.com is an award-winning website that follows Division III basketball from the beginning of the non-conference season through the upcoming CCIW tournament. D3hoops.com releases weekly Player of the Week awards, Team of the Week selections and an annual Top-25 Poll. 

 

The powerhouse senior trio of Cory Noe, Peter Lambesis and Matthew Leritz have paced the Titans all season. 

 

Noe stands in seventh place for the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin’s top three-point shooters and received the Sikma Hall of Fame Invitational Most Valuable Player earlier this year. 

 

Lambesis has racked up a D3hoops.com Team of the Week selection and boasts the season-high in steals for the Titans and second place in the CCIW. He also sits in the top-five rebounders and scorers of IWU’s season. 

 

Leritz is no stranger to headlines this season, hailing as the conference’s top player on the All-CCIW First Team and outshooting just about everyone with a double-digit score in every game this season. 

 

This month alone, Leritz has brought home a CCIW Player of the Week title, a D3hoops.com Team of the Week Top-Five selection, a Division III Player of the Week recognition by the United States Basketball Writers of America, a place on the Bevo Francis Top-50 Watch List, a nomination for the Academic All-American list for the second year in a row and was named the Fred Young Most Outstanding Player.

 

Noe, Lambesis and Leritz have proven themselves as forces to be reckoned with under the coaching of four-time CCIW Coach of the Year, Ron Rose. 

 

This week, the Titans closed out their regular season with a 70-64 victory over Augustana. Strong plays from both ends of the court kept the teams evenly matched for much of the game. But, the Vikings’ defense did little to stop an onslaught of Titan offense as IWU outshot Augie 32-10. 

 

The Titans, seeded number one for the championships, will swing off of their final consecutive victories over North Central and Augustana straight into the CCIW semifinals and championship rounds in Shirk from February 25-26. Semifinals tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 P.M.