Men's Basketball Falls 66-64 at #22 Wheaton on Last-Second Shot
Wheaton, Ill., December 8, 2012 – Junior Tyler Peters buried a turn-around jump shot at the buzzer (VIDEO) to lead No. 22 Wheaton College (Ill.) past the No. 6 Washington University in St. Louis men’s basketball team 66-64 Saturday night in Wheaton, Ill., in a battle of two of the top Midwest Region teams.
Wheaton College improved to 8-0 and is one of 18 remaining unbeaten teams in NCAA Division III. Washington U. suffered its first loss of the year and dropped to 8-1. The Bears return to action Saturday, Dec. 15, at home against Elmhurst College. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the WU Field House.
Sophomore forward Matt Palucki led the Bears with his second double-double of the season and third of his career with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Junior forward Chris Klimek added 14 points and eight rebounds, while senior center Robert Burnett (11) and sophomore forward Nick Burt (10) also scored in double figures for Washington U. in the loss. The 10 points for Burt was a career high.
Washington U. shot 45.8 percent (22-48) from the field for the game, including 54.5 percent (12-22) in the second half, and outrebound Wheaton 40-25. The Bears have outrebounded eight of nine opponents this season and are second in Division III with a +15.9 rebound margin.
Wheaton led for a majority of the first half and built a five-point (29-24) lead after a three-pointer by Tad Fisher with 4:20 to play. Fisher buried another three-pointer with 1:10 left in the opening half as Wheaton held a 33-28 lead at halftime. The Thunder had seven three’s in the first half and limited Washington U. to 38.5 percent (10-26) shooting from the field.
Wheaton led 45-41 with 14:45 remaining in the contest when sophomore Michael Kvam drained a three-pointer and was fouled after the play to give the ball back to the Thunder. Wheaton responded with a driving basket at the hoop by Peters who drew a foul and made the charity shot for a key six-point swing that increased Wheaton’s lead to 51-41.
Washington U. would not go away as they responded with six-straight points. Trailing 57-47 with 8:39 to play, Klimek nailed two more free-throws and then senior guard Ben Hoener canned his first of two second-half three’s to trim the lead to 57-52. The Bears got the advantage down to one (58-57) by connecting on 5-of-6 free-throws.
Tied at 61-61, Kvam and Hoener traded three-point baskets to give Wheaton one-last chance for the win. Peter Smith’s three-point attempt with six-seconds left in the game rolled out of bounds off of a Washington U. played with three-seconds left. After a Wheaton timeout, Kvam inbounds pass went to Berg who dumped it off to Peters for the game-winning shot.
Kvam led all scorers with 18 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting, while Michael Berg (15) and Peters (11 points, 10 assists) also scored in double figures for Wheaton, which shot 42.6 percent (23-54) from the field and hit 11 three-pointers. The Thunder also had 19 assists and eight turnovers in the win.
Bear Notebook: Washington University leads the all-time series with Wheaton, 13-9 … The Thunder scored 14 points off 17 Washington U. turnovers … Wheaton is off to its best start since the 2008-09 season … Junior guard Alan Aboona dished out eight assists but was held to five points on 1-of-7 shooting.