After being defeated by Grinnell 113-76 on Nov. 28, the Prairie Fire could not put together a better performance this time around, losing to the Pioneers 136-65 on Tuesday. The Pioneers victory was never in doubt, as was evidenced by their 72-25 lead at the half. In their 25-point first half, Knox shot only 25 percent, and committed 24 turnovers.
The Pioneers high-scoring performance was no surprise, as they are the top scoring DIII team in the nation, at 115.8 points per game. Additionally, they are number one in the country in 3-point field goals per game (19.0), steals per game (16.7) and turnover margin (+15.4).
Junior David Jones led the Prairie Fire with 13 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Javaka Thompson added nine points and a team-high nine rebounds, while senior Lukas Shaw was second on the team with 12 points.
At the Titan Open, hosted on Saturday by Illinois Wesleyan University, the Prairie Fire women’s team finished fifth out of 13 teams, and the men finished ninth. Knox also had four top five finishes, including two individual event victories.
Junior Weston Chenoweth finished first in the shot put with a throw of 44’7”, and the women’s distance medley relay team finished first with a time of 14:16.71, which was tenth fastest in school history.
Senior Sean Choate ran a career-best 4:39.11 in the mile to move up to ninth on the all-time performance list and fifth on the all-time individual list. Freshman Victor Schultz ran his best time to date in the mile as well, finishing in 4:51.10. Schultz is tied for ninth on the all-time individual list.
At Illinois College this weekend, the Knox women’s swimming team was defeated 48-45 by Illinois College but beat Eureka College 74-12. Men’s swimming earned a tie against Eureka (29-29) but lost to Illinois College 58-16. The two Prairie Fire teams combined for six first place victories,and 14 more top three performances.
Coach Jonathan Powers was upset the team did not perform better, lamenting that if not for International Fair, sickness and some slight lineup tweaks, the men could have beaten Eureka and the women could have defeated Illinois College. The Knox swim teams have one more meet at Beloit College on Feb. 2 at 1 p.m.
Knox (0-5) and Wheaton met at Augustana College this weekend. The Prairie Fire led 6-5 after two matches and increased its lead to 12-5 after sophomore Mario Frye pinned David Watson, an Augustana competitor, in 45 seconds in the 145-pound weight class. After another win by freshman Aaron Hoover, the Thunder answered with 33 straight points to come from behind and earn the victory.
Coach Tony Islas, however, is encouraged by how his team is coming along, saying, “Our wrestling continues to get better and our confidence is building. I see great things coming down the line, and I am pleased with our improvement.”
*Editor’s note: Information from the Knox College Athletic Department was used in this report.