Titans Tumble on the Road
Written by Blake Borgardt on January 28, 2022
Image courtesy of Kodiak Creative
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – After a valiant last-minute effort to rally against Elmhurst, the Illinois Wesleyan Titans fell on the road with a final score of 74-66.
“I’m really proud of my guys,” said Titans Head Coach Ron Rose. “We battled and we gave ourselves a chance to win.”
This loss comes with the blow of snapping a seven game winning streak, which spans back all the way to December 30th. Over that time the team averaged just under 77 points a contest, and posted wins against two top 12 ranked teams.
“I think this team has rolled with adversity as well as you could possibly do it,” said Coach Rose. “We do have depth, we have players who are confident, we have a system where the next man steps in and they play like the guy before him… to go win seven in a row in a unique time is a testament to our upper class leadership and depth in our program.”
Offensive production for the Titans came from all across the floor, with four Titans finishing the contest with double digits. Leading the team in points scored was guard Cory Noe with 15, and multiple high pressure free throws made as the Titans attempted a last minute comeback.
“Cory Noe is a tough kid,” said Coach Rose. “He’s a fierce competitor…Cory’s a guy who can go make a play and make a tough shot and he’s really good at finishing and drawing contact as well.”
The leading scorer for the Titans this season, forward Matthew Leritz, had an uncharacteristic night due in part to the physical defense from Elmhurst forward Lavon Thomas. Leritz shot 3-12 from the field, totaling 10 points and 7 rebounds.
“They were just throwing big bodies at Matt, and we knew that was going to be a challenge,” said Coach Rose. “We knew Elmhurst was going to be a physical matchup.. Even I’m sore today, I can’t imagine how Matt Leritz feels.”
Elmhurst held a 12-point lead with three minutes remaining in the contest. But Coach Rose and the Titans never let up with intense play, bringing the lead down to as little as four points with under a minute left.
“There’s just a confidence about this group,” said Coach Rose. “This group competes, and every guy we’ve called on has been ready to jump in and play, and I feel very fortunate to coach a team as competitive as we are and that just doesn’t quit.”
Now that their four-game straight road trip is over, IWU will be able to return home in front of their hometown fans in Bloomington.
“I think we’ve got the greatest supporters in the country,” said Coach Rose. “They’re avid fans that really back us and we’re so appreciative of our supporters.”
Looking forward for the Titans will look to regroup and get some much needed rest before their next game this Saturday, at home against Concordia Chicago.