St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 10, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team opened the 2018-19 season with a 91-62 victory over Illinois College Saturday night at the WU Field House in St. Louis.
Head coach Pat Juckem picked up his first win with the Bears after six seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. WashU crashed the boards consistently throughout the game and finished with a 46-26 rebounding advantage, including 18-3 in offensive boards.
WashU improved to 1-0 with the win, while Illinois College fell to 0-2. Sophomore guard Jack Nolan was one of five Bears to reach double figures in scoring as he totaled a game-high 22 on 9-of-16 shooting from the field, counting 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.
Also reaching double figures in scoring were senior center Marcus Meyer (16), junior guard Matt Nester (14), junior center Hank Hunter (14) and junior guard Jonathan Arenas (10). Hunter recorded the first double-double of his career as he secured 10 rebounds, while Arenas notched a career-high in points, assists (6) and rebounds (4).
Nolan keyed a 9-2 run with three consecutive triples to cause a Blue Boys timeout with 7:14 remaining in the first half. WashU led 29-21 before Illinois College hit several free-throws to marginally close the gap. The Bears pulled ahead by nine, 41-32, in the final 30 seconds of the half on a layup by Meyer.
The Blue Boys quickly scored in the second half and brought the score within two points with a 10-2 run. The Bears 44-42 lead with 17:18 remaining was bolstered by a nice feed from freshman Justin Hardy to an open Hunter in the lane for a layup.
The Bears offense continued to push the tempo and increase the separation. WashU utilized several offensive rebounds and put backs to take a double-digit advantage including freshman Gordon Gibson's tip-in of an unsuccessful three-point attempt which closed out the scoring.
Trae Robinson III led Illinois College with 16 points, while Trevor Otten added 12. The BlueBoys were 7-for-23 from three-point range and had 17 turnovers.
WashU plays its first road game of the season on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Webster University (1-0). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
• WashU leads the all-time series 17-3 in a series that dates back to the 1946-47 season.
• The Bears have won their last 13 season openers
• WashU shot 48.7 percent from the field (37-76) in the win
• The Bears had a 23-5 advantage in second-chance points
• The 16 points for Meyer was a career-high