Fatoki’s Career Game Lifts No. 3 Men’s Basketball Past No. 5 IWU

Fatoki’s Career Game Lifts No. 3 Men’s Basketball Past No. 5 IWU


St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 13, 2014 – Senior point guard David Fatoki scored a career-high 28 points, pulled down a career-best seven rebounds and added nine assists to lead the No. 3-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team to a 90-72 win over No. 5 Illinois Wesleyan University Saturday at the WU Field House in St. Louis.

Fatoki was 10-of-16 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from three-point range, and hit all four of his free-throws in the win. He is averaging 15.8 points and 8.3 assists per game in the last four contests.

With the win, the Bears improve to 10-0 for the first time since the 2002-03 season, and for the second in school history. Illinois Wesleyan had its six-game win streak snapped and fell to 6-2.

Senior forward Matt Palucki added 18 points and 14 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season and 14th of his career. Palucki became the 23rd member of the 1,000-point club with a three-pointer with 10:40 to play in 1st half, and also moved into eighth place in school history with 610 rebounds.

Junior forward Mitch Styczynski recorded his first career double-double with a career-high 14 points and 10 boards, while senior forward Nick Burt added 13 points, five assists and four rebounds. Sophomore guard Michael Bregman tied a career-high with 10 points in 11 minutes off the bench.

The teams traded buckets to start the game before back-to-back baskets by Illinois Wesleyan gave the Titans a 12-10 advantage with 15:35 left in the first half. A layup by Burt tied the game and sparked a 15-2 run for the Bears, including three-pointers by Fatoki and Palucki, as Washington U. turned the two-point deficit into a 25-14 lead with 9:40 remaining in the half.

After a three by the Titans, Burt drained the first three-pointer of his career and Bregman made a layup to give the Bears their biggest lead of the half at 30-17 with 9:03 to play. Illinois Wesleyan got within six at 42-36, but a tip-in by junior Brandon Staffeil gave the Bears a 44-36 lead at the half.

Washington U. shot 47.5 percent (19-40) from the field in the first half, and hit 5-of-9 from three-point range. Fatoki had 17 points and six assists in the opening half, and the Bears had an 11-4 advantage in second-chance points.

Illinois Wesleyan came out hot in the second half, hitting its first seven field goals, including back-to-back three-pointers, to take a 53-52 lead with 16:20 remaining. After a timeout by the Bears, Fatoki hit a pull-up jumper on the baseline to give Washington U. the lead back. After a two-minute scoreless drought, Fatoki took advantage of a pair of offensive rebounds by the Bears and buried a three to make it 57-53.

After a turnover by the Titans, freshman forward Matt Highsmith and Palucki made back-to-back buckets to make it a 9-0 run that gave the Bears a 61-53 lead with 13:32 to play. The Titans added a bucket to end the run, but Burt drove for a layup and Styczynski made a putback to give the Bears a 65-55 advantage.

The Titans pulled within seven (69-62) with a three-pointer, but Washington U. answered with a three by Bregman. Bregman and Palucki combined to score the Bears' next nine points as Washington U. used a 12-3 run to grab an 81-65 lead with 4:16 remaining.

Washington U. shot 47.9 percent (34-71) from the field in the win, and hit 7-of-13 from three-point range. The Bears outrebounded Illinois Wesleyan, 45-33, and had a 22-10 advantage in second-chance points. Washington U. also committed season-low seven turnovers.

Dylan Overstreet (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Pat Sodemann (15 points) scored in double figures for Illinois Wesleyan, who hit 8-of-26 from three-point range and had 20 assists.

Washington U. closes out first semester play at Coe College on Saturday, Dec. 20. Game time is set for 2 p.m. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Bear Notebook: Illinois Wesleyan leads the all-time series with Washington U. 20-16, and the Bears snapped a two-game losing streak to the Titans … The Bears have posted a 3-0 record at home in 2014-15, and has a 98-12 (.891) record dating back to the 2006-07 season … Washington U. has outrebounded seven of 10 opponents this season ... The 90 points scored were a season high.