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January 27, 2010

2009-10 Season - Late flurry not enough in loss to IWU

A slow start hurt Augustana in a 71-64 loss on Wednesday, January 27 in a College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin game in the Shirk Center in Bloomington, Illinois. Illinois Wesleyan never trailed in the contest and during the early going had leads of 11-2, 16-4 and 27-13.

With 6:06 left in the first half the Titans took a 14 point lead (32-18) after a three point field goal by John Koschnitzky. The Vikings, sparked by a three point field goal from Matt Pelton (Bloomington Central Catholic HS, Bloomington, Ill. – now resides in Houston, Texas), went on a 13-5 run and when Kyle Nelson (Deerfield HS, Deerfield, Ill.) scored at 2:36, the lead was down to six points (37-31. However, Illinois Wesleyan scored six of the last eight points in the half to take a 44-33 advantage into the locker room at intermission.

Over the first 14 minutes of the second half the Titans went on a 23-14 run to build a 20 point lead (67-47) with 6:22 to play after a basket by Doug Sexauer. Augustana came to life after the Sexauer bucket and went on a 15-0 run to trim the lead to just five points (67-62) after Pelton drained a three point field goal.  Chris Anderson (West Carroll HS, Mt. Carroll, Ill.) and Mike Avallone (Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville, Ill.) also added three point field goals in the run. Pelton’s three pointer was the final basket in the 15-0 burst and it came with just 1:10 left in the game. The Titans hit all four of their free throws in the final minute of play to sew up the victory.

Koschnitzky came off the bench to lead Illinois Wesleyan with 18 points while Sean Johnson (16) and Sexauer (15) were also in double figures.

Augustana shot .522 (12-23) in the second half to key its comeback. Nelson and Pelton tied for the Vikings’ scoring lead with 12 points while Brian DeSimone (Buffalo Grove HS, Wheeling, Ill.) had 10 points. Augustana won the rebounding battle by a margin of 32-28 with Nelson leading the way with 9. Freshman Brandon Kunz (Lake Zurich HS, Lake Zurich, Ill.) had seven rebounds and scored eight points. Desimone led the Vikings in assists with four.
Illinois Wesleyan is now 15-3 overall and 6-1 in the CCIW while Augustana is 11-7 and 4-3.