Saturday: A pair of Thunder shockers

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Brent Cox came up big late at both ends of the floor in Trine’s upset win at No. 3 UW-La Crosse
Photo by UW-La Crosse athletics

The Trine Thunder upset No. 3 UW-La Crosse on the road while Elmhurst rallied late to beat the Wheaton Thunder in a Saturday night CCIW thriller. Elsewhere, ETBU zapped No. 24 Mary Hardin-Baylor and No. 7 Rochester surged past Wooster in Saturday’s Division III men’s basketball action.

Two days after dropping his first game of the season, Trine hung a loss on previously-unbeaten No. 3 UW-La Crosse, 67-64.

Trine forward Brent Cox hit a three with four minutes remaining in the game and put the Thunder in front, 61-58. UW-La Crosse cut the deficit to one and had the ball with 1:18 to play, but Cox blocked Ethan Anderson’s jumper and Trine grabbed the ball. After the teams traded turnovers, Connor Jones sank two free throws, putting Trine up 65-62. Craig Steel answered with two free throws for the Eagles, and then Jones dropped in two more, pushing the Thunder’s lead back to three. UW-La Crosse had one more chance to tie the game, but missed the three-pointer at the buzzer.

Cox finished with a game-high 23 points for Trine (7-1), which shot 52 percent from the field and 81 percent from the foul line. Steele and Austin Westra scored 16 apiece for UW-La Crosse (9-1).

Elmhurst picked up its first conference win in dramatic fashion, as the Bluejays surged past No. 12 Wheaton (Ill.) in overtime, 79-75.

The Thunder led Elmhurst 66-63 after TJ Askew converted two free throws with five seconds remaining in regulation. The Bluejays called time out to set up a play and then found John Ittounas for the game-tying three-pointer. The game remained tied at 75 with 1:19 left to play in overtime when Ittounas struck again, this time hitting a jumper to put the Bluejays up 77-75. Wheaton missed a three, Wesley Hooker grabbed the rebound for Elmhurst, and then he drained a hook shot at the other end for what would be the final points of the game.

Ittounas poured in 30 points in 41 minutes for Elmhurst (7-2, 1-2 CCIW), which dropped its first two conference games. Elmhurst had a 36-11 advantage in points off the bench.

No. 7 Rochester shot 67 percent from the field and the Yellowjackets defeated Wooster at Timkin Gymnasium, 91-80. Ross Gang and Dan Masino combined for 42 points on 14-for-16 shooting with five 3-pointers for Rochester, which finished the semester with a 9-1 record.

East Texas Baptist capped a rough day for Mary Hardin-Baylor athletics by beating the 24th ranked Crusaders, 72-64. Aaron Gregg scored 29 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Tigers. Mary Hardin-Baylor also lost to the Tigers in women’s hoops and was defeated by North Central (Ill.) in the Division III football playoffs on Saturday afternoon.

Concordia-Chicago kept its record clean with a 95-87 win over Marian in NACC play. Emanuel Wilson scored 26 points in 30 minutes on 9-for-13 shooting for the Cougars (7-0, 4-0 NACC).

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