Weekend Bear Sports

Sophomore forward Cameron Smith had a career day on Saturday afternoon, scoring a career-high 15 points and pulling down 12 rebounds, as the No. 12 Washington University men’s basketball team posted a 69-66 win over Illinois Wesleyan University in front of 1,097 fans at the WU Field House.

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Smith, who recorded the first double-double of his career, was 6-of-9 from the field, including 3-for-6 from three-point range. He scored 10 of his 15 points in the first half for the Bears.

WU struggled from the field early in the first half hitting three of its first 21 shots as Illinois Wesleyan built a 19-13 lead. The Bears answered with an 11-0 run, capped by three pointers from senior Danny O’Boyle, sophomore Aaron Thompson and Smith, to build a 26-21 lead with 2:20 remaining.

A three-pointer by O’Boyle with eight seconds left gave Washington University a 29-24 lead heading into the locker room. The Bears shot 36.7 percent (11-30) from the field in the first half, and outrebounded the Titans 21-17.

The Bears led the first 10 minutes of the second half, but squandered the lead with 9:13 to play (49-48) after Sean Johnson drained a three-pointer from the corner. Junior Tyler Nading connected on two free-throws and a lay-up, and Ruths added a bucket in the paint, to give Washington U. the lead back at 54-50.

Washington U. built the lead to eight (64-56) with 4:21 left, but the Titans answered as Darius Gant scored five-straight points to trim the lead to 66-63. A three-pointer by Johnson cut the lead to two (68-66) with 10 seconds left setting up a wild finish.

Thompson missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but Nading stripped the rebound out of Sean Dwyer’s hands and bounced to sophomore Ross Kelley who was fouled. Kelley then converted 1-of-2 free-throws with four seconds left to seal the victory.

Senior Troy Ruths had 14 points in the win, passing Brent Dalrymple (1992-96) into ninth on the all-time scoring list with 1,244. He also moved past Jarriott Rook (1999-03) into eighth place on the all-time field goals made list with 480. O’Boyle (14) and Thompson (13) also scored in double figures for Washington University, who won its 18th-straight game at the WU Field House.

Johnson had a game-high 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting to lead Illinois Wesleyan, which dropped its overall record to 4-3. Darius Gant added 12 points, while Doug Sexauer had 10 points off the bench.

Washington U. (6-2) returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Fontbonne University. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.