No. 10 Illinois Wesleyan Gets Past No. 17 Washington U. 71-67 in NCAA 2nd Round
BOX SCORE | PRESS CONFERENCE
St. Louis, Mo., March 9, 2013 – Junior Andrew Ziemnik scored all of his 10 points in the final 3:44 to lead No. 10 ranked Illinois Wesleyan University to a 71-67 victory at No. 17 Washington University in St. Louis in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship Saturday in St. Louis.
Ziemnik’s first bucket of the game was a three-pointer with 3:44 remaining that put Illinois Wesleyan up for good at 60-58 after Washington U. took its first lead of the game since the 19:22 mark in the first half. Ziemnik followed with a three-point play with 2:23 remaining that gave the Titans a 63-58 lead.
Washington U. cut the lead down to three (68-65) with 24.7 seconds remaining after a three-pointer by junior Alan Aboona, but Zeimnick hit 1-of-2 free-throws to seal the victory for the Titans.
“Illinois Wesleyan played very well tonight and showed grit and came out on top,” said Washington University head coach Mark Edwards. “It was a fun atmosphere and both teams were respected by the crowd.”
Junior Chris Klimek led all scorers with 19 points and six rebounds, while Aboona had 14 points and junior Tim Cooney added 11. The Bears shot a season-low 35.5 percent (22-62) from the field, and were outrebounded for just the fifth time this season 40-39. The Bears entered the contest leading NCAA Division III in rebounding margin (+12.3).
“We came out in a zone and they had some good looks but just did not fall early on,” said Illinois Wesleyan head coach Ron Rose. “Both teams were rushing shots and not in rhythm in the first half.”
Sophomore guard Dylan Overstreet had 16 points and eight assists to lead Illinois Wesleyan, while senior Kevin Reed (14 points, 14 rebounds), junior Victor Davis (11 points, nine rebounds) and Ziemnik all scored in double figures.
Washington U. started ice cold from the field missing its first eight shots from the field and trailed 11-1 early in the game. Klimek’s lay-up with 15:41 to play was the Bears’ first field goal of the contest. Washington U. rode the back of Klimek to get back into the contest, as he scored nine of the first 12 points for Washington U. and his bucket with 12:19 left trimmed the IWU lead to 15-12.
Rose called a 30-second timeout after the 11-4 run by Washington U., and the Titans responded with a 5-0 run to make it 20-12. Senior Ben Hoener canned a three-pointer from the wing to trim the lead to five (20-15).
The Titans got the lead back to 10 (27-17) on a turn-around jumper by Nick Anderson, and took a 32-23 lead to half after a three-pointer from the corner by Michael Mayberger with 1:08 to play.
Klimek was the lone offensive weapon for Washington U. in the first half leading all scorers with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting. The rest of the squad was 4-of-19 from the field as the Bears shot 30 percent (9-30) in the opening half. Illinois Wesleyan shot 48.3 percent (14-29) from the field after starting the half 6-of-7 and had a 9-0 advantage in fast-break points.
“We said it all season, the great thing about this team is that if one player is having a down night and we have four or five players who could step up,” Klimek said. “I took what I could out of the offense and the point guards did a good job of getting the ball inside.”
A three-pointer by Overstreet on the first possession of the second half pushed the lead to 12 (35-23), but a 6-0 run by Washington U. cut the advantage to 35-29. Back-to-back three’s by Aboona got the IWU lead to five (41-36), and after two free-throws by sophomore Nick Burt made it a four-point game at 42-38.
The Titans led 57-50 with less than seven minutes remaining, when the Bears answered with an 8-0 run that got them a 58-57 lead with 4:16 to play. Cooney converted the three-point play to cap the run after Washington U. forced a turnover on the defensive end.
Illinois Wesleyan (23-5) advances to the Sweet 16 to take on conference-rival and No. 3 ranked North Central Saturday, March 16, at a site to be determined. North Central defeated No. 5 and defending national champion University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 64-60 Saturday in Lisle, Ill.
Bear Notebook: Illinois Wesleyan leads the all-time series with Washington U. 19-15, and are 5-0 against the Bears in NCAA Tournament play … The Bears are 15-6 all-time at home in the NCAA Tournament … Washington U. finishes the season with a 21-6 record, the 14th time under Edwards the Bears have reached 20 or more wins … The scored was tied one time and there was three lead changes … The Class of 2013 – Robert Burnett, Ben Hoener and Max Needle – compiled a 78-28 (.736) record in four seasons on the Danforth Campus.