MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois women's basketball looks to add to its two-game win streak at Loyola this Wednesday (Dec. 5). The contest between the Leathernecks (3-4 overall) and the Ramblers (3-3 overall) is set to begin at 7 p.m. in Chicago.
In the squad's last contest on Saturday (Dec. 1), Western bested William Woods 70-53. Michelle Maher lit up the scoreboard sparking the Leatherneck offense with 22 points, which matched a career-high. She hit four-of-ten from long range to match yet another career-high. Saule Kontautaite and Charnelle Reed joined Maher in double figures scoring 18 and 11 points, respectively.
Karis Phillips came off the bench to make an impact scoring a season-high seven points, pulling down a career-high tying four rebounds and adding a career-high eight assists.
Rachel Evans also pulled down a career high eight rebounds to pace the Leathernecks.
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A LOOK AT THE RAMBERS: Loyola (Chicago), a member of the Horizon League, brings an overall record of 3-3 into Wednesday's matchup... Simone Law paces the squad in points wiht 85 (14.2 ppg) and is followed by Taylor Johnson and Monica Albano who each hold averages in double figures with 72 points (12.0 ppg) and 63 points (10.5 ppg), respectively... Law also averages ten rebounds per game and has pulled down a total of 60 this season... Ayrealle Beavers has a team high 18 assists... The Rambler roster consists of three freshmen, five sophomores, three juniors and four seniors... The team is coached by third-year head coach Eric Simpson.
SERIES HISTORY: Loyola leads Western 4-0 in all-time meetings... In their last contest on Dec. 22, 2010, the Ramblers recorded the five-point win over the Leathernecks, 64-59.
ROOKIE SCORING: Through the first seven games, Western has seen 15 occurrences of double-digit scoring, nine of those have come from freshmen... Michelle Maher is tied for the team lead with five (and leads with two games of 20-plus points) and Charnelle Reed is right behind with four... Reed opened the year with three straight in double-figures (season-high 19 at Missouri) and followed with 10 against William Woods... Maher scored 10 in the first two games, then a season-high 22 points at SIU Edwardsville and most recently versus William Woods.
BLOCK PARTY AT WESTERN HALL: Through the first three games at Western Hall, the Leathernecks have been having a block party. Of the team’s 30 blocked shots this season, 21 occurred at home - nine each versus Clarke and Valparaiso... Western owns three times as many blocks as the opposition, 30-10... Ashley Luke leads the team with seven, followed by Saule Kontautaite with five (career-high three against Valparaiso) and Michelle Maher also recording five... Nine Leathernecks have recorded a blocked shot through the first six games.
NATIONALLY SPEAKING: According to the latest national statistics (through games of Dec. 2), Western ranks 12th in the country averaging 8.1 3-point field goals per game... Western stands 25th in assists per game (16.9) and 36th overall averaging just 14 personal fouls... The Leathernecks’ 0.89 assist/turnover ratio ranks 74th nationally... Western also ranks 78th in 3-point shooting (.329) and 79th in field goal percentage (.415)... The 4.3 blocked shots per game rank Western 75th in the country... Michelle Maher is 70th in 3-point FG per game averaging 2.43.
SUMMIT LEAGUE STATS: Western Illinois leads The Summit League in 3-point FG made (57), assists (16.9) and blocked shots (4.3), second in steals (9.3), and fifth in points scored (64.6)... The Leathernecks are third in points allowed (60.0) while forcing the third-most turnovers (18.4).
TEN ‘3s’ a GOOD INDICATOR: When Western has made 10 3-pointers in a game during the JD Gravina era, it’s a good chance the Leathernecks will come away with a win... Of the six times Western made at least 10 ‘3s’ in a game, it holds a 4-2 record, and is 3-0 at Western Hall... The wins include: 10 vs. Hannibal-LaGrange in Gravina’s debut, program-record 15 vs. Oakland last year and against Clarke this season, and 11 in the tournament win over Oral Roberts last year.
BLOCK PARTY: Through the first three games at Western Hall, the Leathernecks have been having a block party... Of the team’s 30 blocked shots this season, 21 occurred at home - nine each versus Clarke and Valparaiso... Western owns three times as many blocks as the opposition, 30-10... Ashley Luke leads the team with seven, followed by Saule Kontautaite with five (career-high three against Valparaiso) and Michelle Maher also recording five... Nine Leathernecks have recorded a blocked shot through the first six games.
LEATHERNECK LEADERBOARD: Saule Kontautaite paces the team in points with 98 (14.0 ppg)... Ashley Luke has a team-high 37 rebounds, 17 from the offensive end, and a team top seven blocks on the season... Rebecca Henricson leads in assists with 26 and steals with 17... Michelle Maher has hit a team-best 17 from long range.