Wheaton, Ill. – The Wheaton College men's basketball team opened its season on Thursday night with an impressive 80-45 victory against Capital University in a matchup of two programs that participated in the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament last March. The 17th annual Lee Pfund Classic will continue on Friday night at 7:30 PM when Alma College (0-0) faces Capital (0-1). The host Wheaton Thunder (1-0) will entertain Alma on Saturday at 7:30 to conclude the tournament.
Wheaton trailed the Crusaders 11-8 about six-and-a-half minutes into the game when sophomore Michael Kvam drained a three-pointer that tied the game at 11-11 and sparked a 19-2 Wheaton scoring surge that built the Wheaton lead to 27-13 with 4:30 left in the contest. Wheaton led 33-17 at halftime.
The Thunder remained hot to open the second half as the hosts scored the first 10 points after the halftime intermission to increase the lead to 43-17.The Thunder would lead by as many as 38 points late in the second half.
Kvam scored a career-high 23 points tonight, shooting 7-for-11 from three-point range. Junior Tyler Peters scored 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field, with four assists and four steals. Sophomore Brayden Teuscher scored 11 points in his Thunder debut. Junior forward Nathan Haynes collected a career-high 13 rebounds and contributed seven points, with three assists and two blocked shots.
The Thunder shot 53.1% (26-of-49) from the floor, including 65.4% (17-of-26) in the second half. The hosts made 52.9% (9-of-17) of their three-point attempts, with a 73.1% (19-26) effort at the free throw line. Capital shot 33.3% (14-of-42) from the field, with 33.3% (5-of-15) from behind the three-point line and 60% (12-for-20) at the charity stripe. Wheaton out-rebounded the Crusaders 32-26 on the night.
Damon Dillard led Capital with 14 points off the Crusaders' bench. Michael Sommer scored seven points for the guests and Andrew Bolke grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.