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January 13, 2010

2009-10 Season - Wheaton knocks Vikings from CCIW's unbeatens

Wheaton outscored Augustana 11-4 during a crucial four minute stretch near the end of the game and that proved to be the difference in the Thunder’s 69-63 victory on Wednesday, January 13 in the King Arena. The College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin contest was a two point game with 5:59 left after the Vikings Kyle Nelson (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.) scored to trim the Wheaton lead to 54-52. However, over the next 4:04 the Thunder went on an 11-4 run to stretch the advantage to 65-56 with just 1:55 remaining.

Ben Panner, who had been kept quiet by the Augustana defense for most of the night, nailed three, three point field goals to key the run. He hit the first at 5:22 to make the score 57-52 and after a missed shot by the Vikings he drilled another at 4:54 to bump the lead to 60-52. The Vikings got a basket from Nelson at 4:01 to make it 60-54 and Brian DeSimone (Buffalo Grove HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) drained a pair of free throws at 3:19 to cut the margin to 60-56. Panner was not through, however, as he hit a three pointer with 3:03 remaining to make it 63-56. Jake Carwell ended the run for the Thunder with a layup at 1:55 to push the lead to 65-56 with 1:55 left.

In the final 1:55 Carwell and Panner each sank two free throws to help keep Augustana at bay. A three point field goal by Nelson with just :15 remaining accounted for the final score.

Nelson led Augustana in scoring with 21 points as he was good on nine of 13 from the floor but he went just two of six from the free throw line. He was the only Augustana player in double figures on the night. The next leading scorer for head coach Grey Giovanine’s team was DeSimone with nine points.

Wheaton got a huge performance from Tim McCrary, who finished with a game high 22 points and pulled down12 rebounds. He was 10 of 15 from the field and two of three from the free throw line and also added four assists, two blocked shots and two steals in 37 minutes of playing time. Panner finished the night with 17 points.

Augustana led early (4-0) but Wheaton took the lead for good (10-8) on a McCrary basket at the 15:11 mark of the first half. The first half lead would grow to 11 points on three separate occasions, the last coming at 1:05 when Panner’s layup made it 35-24. Nelson hit a basket with :56 left to cut it to nine (35-26) and that was the score at intermission.

In the second half the Vikings cut it to two a total of five times but never had the ball with a chance to tie things up.
This was the first loss in CCIW play for the Vikings after two victories and they fall to 9-5 overall. Wheaton is now 2-1 in league play and 10-4 overall. Augustana will host Carthage on Saturday, January 16 at 7;30 p.m. in the Carver Center.