Men's Basketball focuses on defense in non-league victory

Photograph by Dean Reid, d3photography.com
Photograph by Dean Reid, d3photography.com

ALBION, Mich. – An Albion College men's basketball fan will be hard pressed to find when Corey Wheeler played a better than the first half Friday night.

The senior guard from Detroit scored 22 of his season-high 23 points in the opening 20 minutes as the Britons coasted to a 104-80 victory over Aurora (Ill.) University in the final home non-conference game of the season.

"I'm proud of his maturity because a younger version of Corey would have gone into the second half trying to force some things, to take some bad shots," Head Coach Jody May said. "They were hanging all over him, so he didn't get many opportunities in the second half."

While Albion scored more than 100 points in a game for the first time since a 116-63 victory at Earlham (Idd.) College on Dec. 17, 2013, May said the Britons effort on defense played an important role in the offensive efficiency.

And it didn't hurt the Britons shot 58 percent from the field, including 57 percent from 3-point range.

"I know we gave up 80 points but Aurora plays fast," May said. "I thought for a long stretch we clamped down on the defensive end. There was a lot of communication, a lot of talking."

Three Britons joined Wheeler in scoring in double figures. Caden Ebeling produced a career-high 17 off the bench and starters Nathaniel Collins and Jaylin Fordham chipped in with 15 and 11, respectively.

Albion, 2-7 overall, will get four days off for Christmas before returning to campus in preparation for Dec. 29-30 games in the Smokey Ballenger Tournament in Westerville, Ohio.

Follow the Britons on Twitter: @AlbionMBB