Wendling’s Monster Double-Double Leads Chargers Past Eagles

  Aaron Frey
  Saturday, January 6, 2018 7:11 PM

Galesburg, IL

Sophomore forward Matt Wendling (Athens, Ill./Athens) recorded career highs in points and rebounds to lead the Carl Sandburg College men’s basketball team past Robert Morris-Peoria 81-69 on Saturday afternoon at John M. Lewis Gymnasium.

Wendling scored 34 points and added 13 rebounds for his fifth career double-double as the Chargers (11-7) snapped a five-game skid in their first game back from Winter Break. Wendling went finished 13 of 18 from the floor, 4 of 6 from 3-point range and 4 of 6 from the free-throw line. He had 20 points and eight rebounds in the second half alone.

Wendling’s previous career high in scoring was 26 points on Nov. 5, 2016, against Southeastern Illinois. He had grabbed 10 rebounds on four occasions in his Chargers career.

Despite Wendling’s huge performance, Sandburg wasn’t able to put the Eagles away until a tiebreaking run in the second half. Deadlocked at 53, the Chargers took the lead for good with 10 straight points on a Kourtlandt Martin (Evansville, Ind./Central) layup, a Wendling three-point play, a Zac Smith (Williamsfield, Ill./Williamsfield) basket in the lane and a Wendling 3-pointer. The run took less than 2 minutes and gave Sandburg a 63-53 lead with 10:15 to go.

Freshman forward Deandrey Robinson (Peoria, Ill./Peoria) scored 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting for Sandburg while adding eight rebounds. Martin finished with 12 points, five rebounds and a game-high seven assists.

“Matt dominated the game, but he did it within the flow of the game. He didn’t have to have the ball all the time to be effective, and that’s the way he’s capable of playing for us every night,” Chargers coach Ryan Twaddle said. “But I thought it was huge for us to get quality minutes from some of our bench guys like Zac Smith, Nick Hanner, Tyler Dugan and Eryon Byrd. Without a strong night from them, it may have been a different ballgame.”

Reggie Davis had 19 points to pace Robert Morris-Peoria. Travis Morgan added 17 points for the Eagles.

The Chargers will open their Arrowhead Conference schedule at 7:30 p.m. at Sauk Valley.

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