Bloomington, Ill., Dec. 17, 2017 – The No. 11-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team put together its strongest performance of the season with a 95-69 win at Illinois Wesleyan University Sunday afternoon at the Shirk Center in Bloomington, Ill.
WashU won its fourth-straight game to improve to 8-1, while Illinois Wesleyan dropped its second-straight game at home and fell to 7-2.
Freshman guard Jack Nolan scored a career-high 23 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting, while senior forward Matt Highsmith added 19 points. Senior forward Andrew Sanders (15 points), senior guard Kevin Kucera (12 points, 12 assists) and senior center David Schmelter (10 points, 16 rebounds) also scored in double figures for the Bears in the win.
WashU shot 52.8 percent (38-of-72) from the field and hit 10-of-22 from three-point range. The Bears had a 49-33 advantage on the boards and recorded 27 assists.
Highsmith had the hot hand for the Bears in the opening 10 minutes of play, hitting his first four shots from the field as WashU led 19-18. The lead grew to double figures for WashU at 30-20 after a 12-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back threes by Highsmith and Nolan.
Nolan drained an 18-footer to increase the lead to 36-24 and force another IWU timeout with 5:43 to play. WashU continued to pour it on as back-to-back dunks from Schmelter extended the lead to 42-24.
WashU took a 58-33 lead to the locker room as the Bears shot 58.3 percent (23-of-39) from the field, including 7-of-11 from three-point range. Highsmith (16), Nolan (13) and Sanders (11) all scored in double figures and were a combined 20-of-23 from the field. Kucera also had nine assists in the first half.
The Bears opened the second half on a 12-0 run to take a 71-33 lead. Kucera had six points of the 12 points with a three-pointer and a three-point play, and Schmelter added his third dunk of the contest.
Out of an IWU timeout, Nolan buried a pair of three pointers to give WashU the 81-46 lead.
Zach Knobloch (17), Colin Bennett (14) and Brady Rose (11) all scored in double figures for Illinois Wesleyan, who shot a season-low 35.7 percent (25-of-70) from the field and hit just 11-of-36 from three-point range.
WashU has 12 days off before returning to action on Friday, Dec. 29, against No. 3-ranked Augustana College (8-1, 2-0 CCIW). Game time is set for 7 p.m.
• IWU leads the all-time series with WashU 22-17, and the Bears snapped a two-game losing streak to the Titans.
• Sanders is now 16 points shy of 1,000.
• WashU has scored 90 or more points in three of the last four games.
• The Bears scored 51 of 64 points at one point in the contest.
• The 12 assists for Kucera tied a career-high, and he recorded the seventh double-double of his career.
• The double-double for Schmelter was the sixth of his career.