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Go DJ!! Iles spins victory for DubC_MensHoops

Junior D.J. Iles tallied a career-high 29 points as Wilmington picked up a much-needed OAC victory, beating Mount Union, 103-90. (Wilmington photo/John Swartzel)
Junior D.J. Iles tallied a career-high 29 points as Wilmington picked up a much-needed OAC victory, beating Mount Union, 103-90. (Wilmington photo/John Swartzel)

Senior D.J. Iles finished with a career-high 29 points as the Wilmington College men's basketball team placed four scorers in double figures in posting the 103-90 victory Saturday over Mount Union in Ohio Athletic Conference action in Fred Raizk Arena at Hermann Court.

"D.J. was awesome tonight, and the best thing was he also had five assists and no turnovers," said Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt. "He played a really complete basketball game. His leadership and being a floor general makes us a different basketball team."

It was the third time this season Wilmington eclipsed the 100-point barrier, but just the first time they escaped with the win.

Iles (Fayetteville, OH/Fayetteville Perry) scored nine points as Wilmington tallied 18 of the last 22 points, over a five-minute stretch, of the first half.

The Fightin' Quakers shot a blistering 67.7 percent (21-of-31) in the first half to open up a 21-point halftime lead. Mount Union was just 1-of-7 from the field as WC seized control. The Purple Raiders were hitting more than 52 percent of their shots leading up to their stretch of futility.

"It was the most complete half of basketball we have played this season," said Hunt. "We had a lot of things that were at the basket. Our defensive intensity and game plan was executed very well. Obviously they have two elite scorers and we wanted to make sure we limited their touches, and we did a very good job with the game plan."

Wilmington held the two of the top three scorers in the Ohio Athletic Conference to a combined 17 points in the victory.

After a having just 20 fouls called in the first half, the second 20 minutes witnessed 42 fouls called and 55 free throws. Wilmington fared well at the charity stripe hitting 35-of-46 (77.1 percent), including junior Christian Jones (Hamilton, OH/Hamilton) connecting on all 10 of his attempts.

"One of things we have been talking about is pace of play, and being in attack mode," said Hunt. "I thought we did a great job playing in ball screen situations, getting downhill and attacking and creating contact – instead of avoiding it. It's a sign of growth and hopefully we can continue doing that."

Mount Union slowly cut into the WC lead, and midway through half, the lead was down to 13 points with plenty of time to play. However, the veteran backcourt of Christian Jones and Iles steadied the play to complete the victory.

"In the second half, it's a difficult thing to be up 20 which is crazy to said, but we didn't have that same edge," said Hunt. "When we came out at halftime, and got it up to 24, I thought we let our guard down a little bit to let them quasi back into the game. Thankfully, we had a floor general in D.J. with Christian (Jones) as well to finish out."

Christian Jones contributed 16 points, backed by a 14-point effort by freshman Noah Chatman (Goodluttsville, TN/Beech). The forward was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field with five boards.

In his first start of the season, junior Jordan Jones (Dayton, OH/Thurgood Marshall) finished tallied points with five rebounds, three steals and three assists – all career highs.

Wilmington (8-11 overall, 3-9 OAC) travels to Muskingum 7 p.m. Wednesday in a critical Ohio Athletic Conference contest. The Muskies were 78-74 victors in New Concord earlier this season. 

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