No. 7 WashU Wins Season Opener at Illinois College

No. 7 WashU Wins Season Opener at Illinois College


Jacksonville, Ill, Nov. 10, 2019 – Sophomore forward Justin Hardy and junior guard Jack Nolan each scored 23 points to lead the No. 7 ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team to an 85-76 season-opening win at Illinois College Sunday in Jacksonville, Ill. 

Hardy and Nolan combined to score 46 of the Bears 85 points in the win as the duo was 14-of-25 from the field and 12-of-17 from the free-throw line. The season-opening win for WashU was its 14th-straight.

WashU (1-0) connected on three shots from downtown as the Bears led 11-7 early in the contest, and the final triple from senior guard Matt Nester ignited a 7-0 run to put WashU up 15-7. Nester drilled another three from the wing to push the advantage to 18-10. 

Illinois College (1-1) tied the game at 26-26, but a three-pointer by Nolan from the top of the key and then a lay-up by Hardy with less than a minute to play made it 38-33 at half.

Hardy led all scorers with 15 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field and 6-of-7 from the foul line, while Nolan added nine. WashU shot 60 percent (12-20) from the field and hit 9-of-13 from three. The Bears turned the ball over eight times in the opening 20 minutes. 

The game was tied at 52-52 with 14:18 when Nester nailed back-to-back triples to highlight a 14-4 run to put the Bears up doubles figures at 66-56.  

Junior guard Payden Webb came off the bench a nailed a corner three to extend the advantage to 71-57 with less than 8:00 left and force another timeout by Illinois College. The Bears committed just two turnovers in the second half.

Nester finished with 17 points on 4-of-8 three-point shooting, while senior center Hank Hunter added nine points and seven rebounds. 

WashU shot 50.0 percent (27-54) from the field in the win and hit 11-of-27 three-pointers. The Bears struggled at the line hitting just 20-of-34 (58.8 percent).

Riley Mehrens, Trae Robinson III and Tre Rogers each scored 13 points to lead IC.

WashU plays a pair of road contests at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Nov. 15) and University of Wisconsin-Platteville (Nov. 16).

BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series with Illinois College 19-3 … Hardy tied a career-high with nine rebounds.