No. 18 Illinois Wesleyan downs Bridgewater

bridgewater eaglesIllinois Wesleyan used a 15-0 run early in the first half to take control Friday evening and the No. 18 Titans went on to defeat Bridgewater College, 79-60, in the consolation game of the 15th Annual Tournament of Heroes hosted by the College of Staten Island.

The Titans scored the first four points of the game, but Bridgewater answered with a 6-0 run to take its only lead of the night. Freshman forward Davrion Grier scored all six points for the Eagles, capping the run with a three-point play for a 6-4 Bridgewater lead.

Illinois Wesleyan then hit the Eagles with the game-changing 15-0 run to open up a 19-6 advantage.

Austin Amann knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and Andy Stempel added a jumper from beyond the arc to shoot the Titans to a 13-6 lead. Tyler Burdine and Nick Coleman then added inside hoops to put the Titans out front 17-6. Colin Bonnett capped the 15-0 run with a short jumper, making the score 19-6 with 9:25 left in the first half.

Kevin Saylor ended the Eagles’ five-minute scoring drought with a three-point play, but Alex Bausch countered with a 3-pointer and Mark Falotico added a jumper to put the Titans up 24-9.

Bridgewater, now 5-6 on the season, cut the deficit to 10 points, 31-21, on a Jesse Case 10-footer with 3:11 left in the half, but the Titans outscored the Eagles 11-3 during the final three minutes to lead 42-24 at the break.

Saylor scored 17 points to lead the Eagles and was named to the all-tournament team. Grier reached double figures for the first time in his career, finishing the game with 10 points.

Coleman scored 13 points to pace four Titans in double figures. Illinois Wesleyan made 10-of-23 shots from 3-point range and held a commanding 43-30 rebounding advantage.

Bridgewater returns to action Wednesday evening when the Eagles make the short trip to Harrisonburg to play rival Eastern Mennonite in a key ODAC contest. Bridgewater is 2-0 in conference play. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.

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