Francis, Thunder storm past IWU

Aston Francis
Illinois Wesleyan tried unsuccessfully to contain Aston Francis as he scored 36 points in Wheaton’s victory at Shirk Center on Wednesday. (Photo by WJBC)

By Eric Stock

BLOOMINGTON – Aston Francis scored 36 points with signature array of highlight reel three-point shots as Wheaton outscored No, 17 Illinois Wesleyan, 107-95, in a Shirk Center game that further complicates an already crowded College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin race.

After Illinois Wesleyan pulled to within 36-35 with 4:17 to play in the fist half, the Thunder closed out the half on a 16-8 run, capped by Francis’ patent fadeaway three from the corner in the closing seconds to give the Thunder a 52-43 lead at the break.

PODCAST: Listen to IWU coach Ron Rose’s postgame interview on WJBC. 

Wheaton (15-6, 8-4 in the CCIW) stormed out the gate in the second half, scoring 12 consecutive points, eventually opening a 81-53 lead with 11:58 to go. IWU (16-5, 9-3 in the CCIW) pulled to within 98-89 on a Miles Curry baseline basket with 1:49 left, but the Thunder made its final 10 free throws down the stretch to seal the win

Brady Rose led the Titans with 27 points. Curry finished with a team-high eight rebounds. Alex O’Neill added 14 points and six boards.

IWU maintains a half-game lead over North Central (9-4) following the Cardinals loss to No. 14 Augustana (9-4), while Wheaton stands along in fourth place, one game ahead of Carthage following the Redmen’s loss to Carroll.

The Titans host Carroll on Saturday.

Eric Stock can be reached at eric.stock@cumulus.com

Blogs

WJBC Voices: Jay Bee, CEO

Much of the legal analysis in law school is taught via the hypothetical question, wherein the professor poses a set of facts embodying the issue studied, and asks students to predict the outcome, based on those facts. 

WJBC Voices: Understanding TIF investments

As we near another local election, understanding what a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district is and its role in economic development seems unclear to many I talk to.

WJBC Voices: JB the CK

Based on the budget, Pritzker ought to change his initials from J.B. (whatever they stand for) to C.K. (Can Kicker).