The Illinois Wesleyan men's basketball team took possession of first place in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin following an 89-84 upset win over No. 1 Augustana at the Carver Center on Wednesday.
Ill. Wesleyan relied on senior Pat Sodemann early, scoring 12 of the Titans first 23 points. After trailing for the first six minutes of the game, IWU would go on a 22-6 run in a span of 4:44 to take a 32-20 lead with 9:07 left in the first half thanks in part to a five-of-five start from beyond the arc. Augustana would close the gap to three late in the first half before IWU would take a 48-42 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Vikings would keep the pressure on the Titans in the second half, keeping the game within three points before taking their first lead of the second half with 9:20 left in the game at 64-63. Both teams traded buckets for the next few minutes before the Titans took a nine point lead with 3:22 left in the game on a Dylan Overstreet old fashioned three-point play. Wesleyan would hit free throws down the stretch to hand the Vikings their first home loss of the season.
Augustana held a slight 30-28 advantage on the glass and held a 13-1 points off turnovers advantage. The Titans scored 27 bench points, including 16 from junior Mike Marietti who went a perfect six-of-six from the field.
IWU benefited from 25 made free throws on 32 attempts while the Vikings 17-26 from the charity stripe.
The Titans are 13-4 overall and 5-1 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin and move into a first place tie with the Vikings, who slip to 15-2 and 5-1 in the CCIW. With the completion of tonight's game, IWU holds the tiebreaker over Augustana for first place in the conference having won the head to head matchup.