Assistant Sports Editor
“We have more things to accomplish … too much still to do in front of us,” Head Coach Mike Schauer said about the men’s basketball team after their victory over Millikin on Saturday, Feb. 9.
The Thunder started the game on a 13-4 run and never looked back as they downed the Big Blue in Decatur, Ill., 62-52. Wheaton swept Millikin — and Head Coach Matt Nadelhoffer — for the season as they beat the Big Blue at King Arena 91-71 earlier in the year. Nadelhoffer was an All-American basketball player for the Thunder from 1994-1998.
When asked about coaching against the Wheaton alumnus, Schauer responded, “He is a good friend and someone I care deeply about.”
The win improved the Thunder’s conference record to 8-4 and their overall record to 18-5. The Thunder also officially clinched a spot in the CCIW Tournament following their win as well as losses by Carthage (11-12, 6-6) and Augustana (16-7, 6-6).
Wheaton was led by junior post Nathan Haynes with 18 points, 15 rebounds, two blocks, two assists and two steals.
Sophomore guard Brayden Teuscher also had two assists as well as two steals, capping it off with 10 points. Junior guard Tyler Peters had 15 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Michael Kvam went 2-5 from three-point range to add eight points as well as two assists. Freshman forward Joel Smith also tied for the team lead in assists with two. As a team, Wheaton shot 50 percent from the floor.
Before the beginning of the season, Wheaton had not cracked the top 25 in the country. They started off strong, winning their first nine games and climbing up to eighth in the national rankings. However, Wheaton lost their first two conference matchups and plummeted to last in the conference.
The Thunder men have showed their resolve since then, going 8-2 in the conference. They are currently placed third in the CCIW.
“I am thrilled with how our team has played this year,” Schauer said about his team’s performance.
Fortunately for the Thunder, they are playing their best basketball when the time is right: The conference tournament is in two weeks. The Thunder will be traveling back down to Bloomington, Ill., where the Illinois Wesleyan Titans will be hosting the CCIW tournament. The Thunder could possibly advance to the National Tournament by winning the CCIW tournament or getting an at-large bid.
The Thunder are currently ranked 21st in the nation and will wrap up the regular season by taking on Carthage on Saturday, Feb. 16, at King Arena before wrapping up at Elmhurst (6-17, 2-10) on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
Photo and Banner Credit: Allison Freet
Printed in the February 15, 2013 issue of The Wheaton Record. Send comments to email@example.com.