Visiting Illinois-Wesleyan University broke open what was a tie game at halftime, storming past the College of Staten Island in the 10th Annual Tournament of Heroes Championship, 90-79, at the Sports & Recreation Center this evening. Tournament Most Valuable Player Jordan Zimmer notched five of his six three-point baskets in the second frame for the Titans, who improved to 9-2 overall and won their fifth straight. CSI dipped to 7-4 with the loss. In the Consolation Game of the tourney, Bethany College (11-1) blitzed by Vaughn College (4-9), 84-38.
In what was a very even first half, the game teetered back and forth. A Bloochy Magloire three gave CSI a modest 16-11 edge at 14:12, but an Eliud Gonzalez three and a Nick Anderson lay-up knotted the game in what would be a recurring theme of the first half. After CSI took another five point edge via a T.J. Tibbs trey at 12:17, IWU staked themselves to a 12-2 run over the next four minutes, finalized by another Gonzalez three-ball, to take a 28-23 lead with 8:54 to play.
The Titans led by as many as six points, when a pair of Zimmer freebies gave IWU a 38-32 edge at 4:12, but the Dolphins quickly responded with an 11-5 run to end the frame, finalized by a Dale Taranto three.
After CSI ripped off the first four second half points, Zimmer took over for the visitors, burying three-straight three-pointers to help the Titans to a 14-5 run. After a Tibbs jumper got CSI to within three, 59-56, with 14:15 to go. IWU ripped off another 11-4 run, punctuated by an Anderson dunk and a three-ball by Victor Davis. From there, CSI tried in vain to chip away at the lead, but after cutting the lead to single digit on three occasions, IWU had an answer each time, and scored their last seven points via the charity stripe to ice the game with a 90-79 final.
Zimmer canned 7-of-14 shots from the floor including 6-of-12 from downtown to lead the Titans with 28 points, earning MVP honors. John Koschnitzky scored 15 points and five rebounds also earning All-Tournament honors. For CSI, Tibbs earned All-Tournament honors as well, leading the way for CSI for the second night in a row, scoring 23 markers with six assists and five rebounds. Bloochy Magloire added 19 points and eight rebounds in the losing effort, while Matt Van Manen enjoyed a 17 point night.
CSI has yet to win the Tournament of Heroes and fell to 7-13 all-time in tourney play. The Tournament serves to honor the memory of Terrance Aiken, Scott Davidson and Tom Hannafin, three former CSI hoop stars who perished during the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
In consolation play, Bethany College conquered blew past Vaughn early and never looked back in the 84-38 affair.
The Bison sprung off to an 8-0 lead in just over two minutes of play before rising to a 28-5 lead at the ten minute mark, which included three baskets off of steals. Beginning at 9:00, Bethany kept the Warriors silent for five minutes while stretching their lead. After a Dylan Berger steal with 39 seconds left, Delonte Joyce scored a fast break layup to give Bethany their greatest lead of the half with a 33 point cushion. A Vaughn layup and freebie closed the gap to 30 at halftime, 50-20.
Vaughn opened with half with a drawn out 7-2 run to close the gap to 23 into the 13th minute. From there Bethany would allow the Warriors to score just nine points in the remaining minutes. At 2:48, Bethany broke the 40 point cushion before they took their biggest lead with 33 seconds left at 48 points.
Bethany saw eight bench players’ score and was led by Ray Neal with 14 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Ryan Summer added 12 points with five steals while British Alexander added 11 points. Vaughn was led by Moises Chaucer with 15 points while Jihad Caesar added eight with 10 rebounds.