Little Giants Show Up Big Against Titans
Written by Blake Borgardt on March 18, 2022
Image courtesy Kodiak Creative
NORMAL, Ill. – After an impressive win streak through March Madness, the Illinois Wesleyan Titans’ season was ended by the Wabash Little Giants in the Elite Eight with a final score of 81-75.
The Titans kept Wabash just out of reach after the first half, leading 39-34. Wabash came storming back in the second half however, with the Titans allowing a 47 point half which tied for the most points allowed by the Titans in a half all season.
The fans in attendance at the Shirk Center were treated with a nail-biting second half, as there were five lead changes late in the second half. After four free throws from Wabash guard Jack Davidson put IWU in the rearview mirror of the Little Giants at the 7-minute mark, they held the lead for the remainder of the contest.
Forward Matt Leritz shone bright in his final game in the green and white, posting his 12th double-double of the season. Leritz finished the contest with 21 points and 13 rebounds, which amounted to team highs in both categories.
While the Titans ultimately lost the contest, there were multiple facets of the game in which they surpassed the Little Giants. One of those categories was through their rebounding, where they out-rebounded Wabash 41-33.
The Titans have the dynamic front court duo of Cody Mitchell and Matt Leritz to thank for their outstanding rebounding as they combined for nearly half of the team’s rebound total with 19.
While this game served as the final one for many key contributing Titans such as Matt Leritz, Peter Lambesis and Cory Noe, there were many underclassmen who showed that IWU would be in great hands in the coming seasons.
Junior Guard Luke Yoder showcased his ability to be a number one scorer for the team, as he posted 20 total points. Yoder also boasted an impressive 100% from the free throw line on six total attempts.
In addition to Yoder, sophomore Guard Ryan Sroka also showcased his value on the team by putting up 7 total rebounds on just a mere 20 minutes of playing time. This rebound total was second highest on the team, while playing the fewest minutes out of every Titan to touch the floor in the contest.
With their run in March Madness over, so begins the extensive offseason for Coach Rose and his team as he will prepare his roster for the challenge of maintaining the program’s reputation as a heavyweight in the CCIW.