Sandburg Men Survive IVCC to Stay Unbeaten in Arrowhead

  Aaron Frey
  Thursday, January 18, 2018 9:52 PM

Galesburg, IL

The Carl Sandburg College men’s basketball team used a late, tiebreaking push and held on to beat Illinois Valley 79-76 on Thursday night at John M. Lewis Gymnasium in the Chargers’ Arrowhead Conference home opener.

Sandburg (13-7, 2-0) held a double-digit lead in the second half but saw the Eagles (11-7, 1-1) use a 14-2 spurt to tie the game at 62 with 6 minutes to go. The Chargers, though, answered with 12 of the next 15 points, sparked by a Matt Wendling (Athens, Ill./Athens) 3-pointer off a feed from Tyler Houston (Knoxville, Ill./Knoxville).

IVCC pulled within 78-76 and had the ball in the closing seconds, but Ty Bland’s 3-point try was off the mark. Houston hauled in the rebound with :00.3 left and split a pair of free throws to seal the Chargers’ third straight victory.

Sandburg, which didn’t commit a turnover in taking a 39-34 lead into halftime, was led by Wendling’s 24 points and eight rebounds on 9-of-14 shooting. Houston drained three 3s and finished with 15 points, and sophomore guard Kourtlandt Martin (Evansville, Ind./Central) had 13 points, seven rebounds and a game-best six assists. Forward Deandrey Robinson (Peoria, Ill./Peoria) added nine points and eight rebounds for the Chargers.

“We weren’t at our best all night, but we came up big when we had to,” Sandburg coach Ryan Twaddle said. “We’ve played two three-point games in the conference so far and came out ahead in both. It’s been good to see us find ways to win in crunch time. Hopefully we can keep that up.”

The Eagles’ Keymonta Johnson scored a game-high 31, highlighted by a 5-for-8 night beyond the arc. Jalen Latham added 13 points for IVCC, which had an 11-point lead in the opening minutes.

The Chargers will look to stay unbeaten in the conference when they host rival Black Hawk at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the second half of a doubleheader. The women’s contest will tip off at 5:30 p.m.


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Aaron Frey