The Wheaton men's basketball team tops #19-Elmhurst, 76-68

More news about: Wheaton (Ill.)

Wheaton, Ill. – The Wheaton Thunder men's basketball team earned a hard-fought 76-68 victory against Elmhurst on Saturday night at home.

Thunder senior Brayden Teuscher led all players tonight with a game-high 26 points as he had a 16-for-17 effort at the free throw line. Fellow senior Peter Smith contributed 16 points with six rebounds. Michael Berg posted his sixth "double-double" of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman Murad Dillard tallied a career-high 11 points with four assists and five rebounds.

Wheaton jumped out to an early 13-point lead to tonight with a 22-9 Thunder advantage with 11:40 remaining in the first half. A three-pointer by Thunder freshman Mark Champion gave the hosts a 34-24 lead with 5:10 remaining before halftime. The Bluejays gradually chipped away at Wheaton's lead as the hosts led 40-36 at halftime.

Wheaton led 49-47 with 13:05 left in regulation when a three-pointer by Elmhurst's Kyle Wuest and a basket by the Bluejays Erik Crittenden gave the guests a 52-49 lead with 11:44 remaining in the game. Peter Smith drained a three-pointer following Crittenden's basket to tie the contest at 52-52 and Dillard scored a field goal followed by a pair of free throws by Berg to give the Thunder a 56-52 lead with 9:21 left in regulation.

The Bluejays again tied the game at 56-56 with 8:03 left in regulation. Wheaton scored eight consecutive points to regain the lead with a 64-56 lead with 6:45 remaining in the game. Wheaton continued to maintain a strong advantage for the remainder of the game to secure the win against the Bluejays.

Wheaton shot 32.1% (17-for-53) from the field tonight and the Thunder had a 92.5% (37-for-40) effort at the free throw line. The Bluejays posted a 39.7% (27-for-68) field goal percentage and the guests shot 75% (12-for-16) at the charity stripe. Wheaton out-rebounded the Bluejays 40-39 and Elmhurst had a 14-12 advantage on the offensive glass.

Kyle Wuest led Elmhurst tonight with 17 points and three assists. Crittenden scored 13 points with 12 rebounds. Bryan Ackerman tallied 12 points with five rebounds and Will Nixon scored 10 points with seven rebounds.