Foresters Start Fast, Hang On for Victory at Wheaton

Photo by Amanda Walker
Photo by Amanda Walker

Lake Forest had five players score in double figures Tuesday night in a 78-75 triumph at Wheaton College.

Freshman guard Aidyn Albright led the visitors with 16 points off the bench. He connected three times from three-point range and added three steals and four assists in the contest.

Junior guard Sean Espinosa and freshman wing Reece Taylor were next on the team with a dozen points apiece while senior wing Aram Arslanian and freshman forward Victor Novy each finished with 11. Taylor was extremely efficient offensively, shooting 3-for-5 from the field and making both of his attempts from beyond the arc and all four of his attempts from the foul line. He also added a pair of blocked shots. Arslanian was successful three times on three-pointers, Espinosa knocked down a pair from long range, and both players matched Albright's four assists.

Both teams shot 44 percent from the floor on the night. Wheaton outscored the visitors 17-9 on free throws but the Foresters shot 13-for-25 on three-pointers while the Thunder made just six while also attempting 25. The home team also out-rebounded Lake Forest 40-31.

Taylor scored the game's first five points and Espinosa the next three. The Foresters' lead reached double figures in the first four minutes and stayed there for the rest of the half. The margin grew to as many as 16 in the opening period and Lake Forest was ahead 47-32 on a turnaround jumper by Novy at the buzzer.

Novy also scored the initial points of the second half and the Lake Forest lead reached 21 points in the first few minutes of the period. A 14-0 Wheaton run, however, made it a seven-point game with 13 minutes to play. The lead was back up to 15 with eight minutes left but the Thunder roared back again and pulled to within just two points on a pair of free throws with a minute remaining. Espinosa and Taylor were each 2-for-2 from the line in the final minute to help preserve the Forester victory.

Lake Forest is now 3-0 this season while Wheaton fell to 2-1.

The Foresters will host Illinois Wesleyan University Saturday afternoon at 4:00.