Luke Rinne, Director of Athletic Communications
ROMEOVILLE – Lewis University’s men’s basketball team defeated McKendree 78-63 for its third straight win on Friday evening at Neil Carey Arena. The Flyers improve to 3-1, 3-1 GLVC while the Bearcats drop to 2-2, 2-2 GLVC.
Artese Stapleton (Chicago, Ill./Kenwood) finished with a career-high 22 points to lead all scorers while Trevian Bell (Joliet, Ill./Joliet West) matched his career-high with 21 points and Bruno Williams (Milwaukee, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) finished with 18 points. Atakan Sahinkaya (Istanbul, Turkey/Perkiomen School) had a game-high eight rebounds while Stapleton led the way with four assists.
Lewis used a 13-2 that spanned nearly five minutes to extend its lead from one point to 12 points. Bell had four points in that run while Marco Pettinato (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way West) added three and Williams, Sahinkaya and Vlado Zrnic (Greendale, Wis./Greendale) had two points apiece.
McKendree fought back cutting the Flyer advantage to six after two free throws from Bryson Bultman with 1:31 left in the half. However, Stapleton scored the final four points of the stanza for Lewis including a shot that beat the buzzer to give the Flyers a 37-28 lead at the half.
The two sides traded baskets for the first eight minutes of the second as Lewis still held an eight-point lead with 13:22 remaining in the contest.
The Bearcats responded with a 16-7 run over the next seven minutes to take its first lead since it was 6-4 on a layup from Bultman.
The Flyers punched right back as Sahinkaya slammed home a pass from Stapleton and then on their next possession Beau Frericks (Cary, Ill./Cary Grove) hit a three-pointer from the right wing in transition to put Lewis in front 63-59.
McKendree wouldn’t get closer than three points the rest of the way as the Flyers closed the game on a 15-3 run for the final margin.
Lewis finished the game recording season-highs in points scored (78) and field goal percentage (54.7 percent). It was 29-for-53 from the field, shot 36 percent from three and made 15-of-18 from the charity stripe. The Flyers outrebounded the Bearcats by a 31-24 margin and dominated in the paint scoring 38 points to McKendree’s 20 points.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday (Dec. 19) at 3 p.m. at Neil Carey Arena.