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Men’s Basketball Opens Title Defense with Blowout Win

 

MARION, Ind. – It took some time to get going on Saturday but once Indiana Wesleyan University men’s basketball got in gear visiting Governors State (Ill.) could do nothing to stop them. The reigning NAIA DII National Champion Wildcats outscored Governors State – a national tournament team last season – by a 49-22 margin in the second half en route to an 86-48 victory in Luckey Arena.

PAINT JOB

Indiana Wesleyan dominated down low and outscored Governors State 50-20 in points in the paint. IWU led 37-26 at halftime and all of their points were scored in the paint or at the free throw line.

WHAT A DEBUT!

Freshman Seth Maxwell – younger brother of Evan – quickly established himself on Saturday. The 7-0 center led all players with 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots — all in under 20 minutes of action. He finished 6-of-7 from the field and 5-of-6 from the foul line.

GETTING DEFENSIVE

The Wildcat defense was on full display in the season opener as they limited the Jaguars to 48 points on 28-percent shooting. IWU forced 17 turnovers and blocked 6 shots.

TONAGEL’S PERSPECTIVE

“I couldn’t have told you two weeks ago that our offense would be struggling a little bit and the defense would be really good in the opener. We just got great effort from everybody. We knew Joel could play defense, but Seth Maxwell cleaned up some things on the glass and we have length this year. When our guys play that hard that length exposes the other team. I think it is going to start showing statistically. I really challenged our guys if we want to go to that next level, it has to happen on the defensive end. Tonight, I was proud of the defensive effort.”

NEXT FOR THE WILDCATS

Indiana Wesleyan travels to Grand Rapids, Michigan next weekend for the annual Crossroads League/WHAC Challenge hosted this season by Aquinas (Mich.). Indiana Wesleyan matches up with Aquinas at 4 p.m. on Friday before the heavyweight matchup with Cornerstone (Mich.) at 4 p.m. on Saturday.