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Carthage basketball: Men's, women's teams open CCIW schedules Wednesday against Wheaton

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The Carthage men’s and women’s basketball teams will begin their College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin schedules with a doubleheader against Wheaton on Wednesday night at Tarble Arena.

The women’s game is scheduled to tip off at 5 p.m., with the men’s game to follow at 7 p.m. Both games will also be broadcast live on WLIP AM-1050.

Both the Wheaton men’s and women’s teams are ranked in the top 10, with the Thunder checking in at No. 5 in the latest D3hoops.com men’s poll and No. 6 in the latest D3hoops.com women’s poll.

Here’s a quick look at each game:

Men

The Firebirds enter their CCIW opener with a 4-1 record overall.

Junior forward Fillip Bulatovic, who’s coming off the second triple-double in program history — joining his head coach, Steve Djurickovic — in last week’s wild 138-125 non-conference home win over Greenville (Ill.), leads Carthage at 20.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.

He ranks third in the CCIW in both categories.

Fillip Bulatovic

Bulatovic

Junior guard Elijah Blake, meanwhile, is averaging 17.3 points per game for the Firebirds, though he missed two games and doesn’t qualify among the conference scoring leaders.

For Wheaton, meanwhile, senior guard Nyameye Adom is averaging 23.7 points per game, second in the CCIW.

Adom was named the CCIW Fred Young Most Outstanding Player last season, as well as the Central Region Player of the Year and second-team All-American by D3hoops.com.

The Thunder come into Wednesday’s game with a 6-0 record.

Women

The Firebirds enter their CCIW opener at 3-2 after last week’s 87-56 non-conference home win over Lake Forest (Ill.).

Sophomore guard Lauren Knight leads Carthage with 11.2 points per game and 12 assists, while junior guard Ayanna Ester, a Tremper graduate, and senior guard Lauren Hermann are each averaging 7.8 points per game.

Ayanna Ester

Ester

For Wheaton, junior guard Annie Tate is averaging 21.4 points per game, which leads the CCIW. Tate was named first-team All-CCIW and honorable mention All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association last season.

The Thunder enter the game with a 7-0 record.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee spoke on the Carthage College campus Thursday afternoon, Oct. 14, 2021.

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