Already off to a strong start to the season, the Berry men’s basketball team turned in its biggest win in recent memory when the Vikings knocked off No. 6-ranked Wheaton 78-72 at the Music City Classic on Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn.
The upset improves the Vikings to 9-1 overall heading into their second game of the Classic on Thursday when Berry squares off against Carthage at 3 p.m.
Against Wheaton’s Thunder, the Vikings controlled the game in the first 20 minutes, building their biggest lead of the first half, a 14-point advantage, when Ryan Segall hit a short jumper in the lane to give his team a 19-5 edge.
Wheaton (10-2) cut into the difference to stay within striking distance but Berry refused to back down and thanks to a 3-pointer by Colby Carter as time expired to end the opening half as the Vikings took a 42-33 lead into the locker room at the break.
Berry lost the lead for the first time with eight minutes left to play when Wheaton hit a 3-pointer to grab its first lead, 61-60, and after the team teams traded the lead, the Vikings took it for good with 3:36 remaining when Austin Brooks scored on a layup.
Chase Ellis led the Vikings with 20 points, Robbie Rusciano added 13 and Brooks finished with 12.
Ellis and Brooks also led Berry under the glass recording five rebounds each as the Vikings outrebounded Wheaton 41-32.