MACOMB, Ill. - The Fighting Leatherneck women's basketball team returns to Waste Management Court in Western Hall to continue Summit League play against South Dakota this Thursday (Jan. 24). Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Western brings an overall mark of 10-8 and a conference record of 3-3 into the matchup, while South Dakota is 9-10 overall and 4-2 in league play.
Last time out, Western defeated North Dakota State 85-83 marking its first-ever win over the Bison on their home court in Fargo, N.D. Four Leathernecks reached double figures in scoring including Saule Kontautaite (30 points), Charnelle Reed (14 points), Ashley Luke (11 points) and Jackie Rieger (10 points). Kontautaite's 30-point performance is a new career-high and her seven three-pointers made ties the Western Illinois record for threes in a game, also her career-high.
Rebecca Henricson posted double-digits in the assist category dishing out a total of 11, a career-high mark by four, while Rieger pulled down a season-high nine rebounds in the contest. Collectively, the Leathernecks shot 57.6 percent from the overall from the floor and 52.4 percent from long range.
Who: South Dakota (9-10 Overall, 4-2 Summit League)
at Western Illinois (10-8 Overall, 3-3 Summit League)
Where: Macomb, Ill. • Western Hall (5,139)
When: Thursday, January 24 at 7 p.m.
Series History: South Dakota leads 2-0
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LAST TIME OUT:
Western Illinois women’s basketball recorded its first-ever win over
North Dakota State in Fargo, N.D. on Saturday (Jan. 19) by a score of
85-83... The win gives the Leathernecks an overall record of 10-8 and a
3-3 mark in Summit League play... Saule Kontautaite paced
the offense posting career-highs with 30 points and seven
three-pointers made, which tied the single-game record for 3s made
in a game... Charnelle Reed, Ashley Luke and Jackie Rieger joined her in double figures netting 14 points, 11 points and 10 points, respectively... Rebecca Henricson
dished out a career-high 11 assists, while Rieger pulled down a
season-high nine rebounds... Western shot 57.6 percent overall from the
floor and 52.4 percent from long range.
SCOUTING THE COYOTES: South Dakota, a member of the Summit League, brings an overall mark of 9-10 and a conference record of 4-2 into the Thursday (Jan. 24) matchup... Nicole Seekamp leads the squad in scoring with 278 points (14.6 ppg) followed by Polly Harrington with 234 points (12.3 ppg)... Pacing the team in rebounds is Margaret McCloud with 141 (7.4 rpg)... Alexis Yackley has a team-high 33 steals (1.7 spg) and 95 assists (5.0 apg)... The Coyote roster consists of five freshmen, four sophomores, two juniors and four seniors... South Dakota is led by first year head coach Amy Williams.
SERIES HISTORY: South Dakota has a 2-0 record over Western Illinois in overall meetings... The last time the teams met, South Dakota won 62-47 in Macomb.
FLAWLESS: The Fighting Leathernecks own a perfect 7-0 record when playing at home on Waste Management Court in Western Hall this season... In Macomb, Western outscores its opponents by an average of 22.3 points and average 77.7 points per game... The home streak includes wins over Clarke 85-35, Valparaiso 69-55, William Woods 70-53, Eastern Illinois 70-68, Bradley 92-81, Chicago State 87-52 and Summit League member Omaha 71-44.
FROM DOWNTOWN: With a total of 146 three-pointers made this year, the Leathernecks own the No. 4 spot in the record book for threes in a season, rank 12th nationally in threes per game (8.1) and 40th nationally in three-point percentage (34.5)... The team is nine away from matching the No. 2 spot of 155 threes... Ten of the 13 Leathernecks that have attempted a three this season have made at least three from long range... Saule Kontautaite leads the team with 41 (2.3 pg) on the season, followed by Michelle Maher with 36 (2.1 pg).
NATIONAL RANKS: As of the most recent release on Jan. 20, Western ranks 12th in threes per game (8.1), 36th in assists per game (14.3), 40th in three-point percentage (34.5), 46th in personal fouls per game, 67th in assist to turnover ratio (0.9) and 87th in field goal percentage (41.1)... Saule Kontautaite is 73rd in threes per game (2.28) and 81st in three-point percentage (35.3), while Rebecca Henricson is 33rd with an assist to turnover ratio of 2.06.
SUMMIT LEAGUE SUMMARY: As of Jan.23, Western Illinois is tied for the No. 4 spot in conference along with Omaha owning a league mark of 3-3... South Dakota State is at the lead position with a 6-1 record, followed by IUPUI and South Dakota who both have records of 4-2... North Dakota State is sixth with a 3-4 mark and Kansas City is seventh with a 2-4 record... Oakland and Fort Wayne each have a record of 2-5 and round out the rankings tied for eighth.
LEAGUE STATLINE: Western leads the Summit League in threes made (146), three-point percentage (34.5), assists (15.8) and blocks (3.8)... The squad is second in points (65.9) and field goal percentage (41.1), third in personal fouls per game (14.3) and fifth in field goals made (429), rebounds (36.5) and steals (8.2)... Saule Kontautaite ranks in the 'Top 10' in several categories including first in threes per game (2.3), fifth in points per game (14.0), seventh in field goal percentage (45.1) and eighth in field goals per game (5.1)... Rebecca Henricson is third in assist to turnover ratio (2.1), fourth in assists per game (3.9) and 10th in steals per game (1.7)... Ashley Luke is second in field goal percentage (48.7) and rebounds per game (5.7)... Michelle Maher is second in threes per game (2.1), Karis Phillips is fourth in assist to turnover ratio (1.9), Paige Harmon is sixth in assist to turnover ratio (1.5) and Rachel Evans is ninth in blocks per game (0.8).
KONTAUTAITE PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE, WESTERN PICKED SEVENTH: Western Illinois senior guard Saule Kontautaite earned a spot on the preseason All-Summit League selections, while the Leathernecks were picked to finish seventh in the poll, announced by the league office. Head coaches, sports information directors and select media members voted in the poll... Last year, Kontautaite was voted as the league's 'Newcomer of the Year', and this year earned a spot on the preseason Second Team. She averaged 9.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, while setting a program record hitting 67 three-point field goals. The senior guard started in 12 of her 31 games played... South Dakota State received 22 of the 25 first-place votes and was picked to repeat receiving 330 points. Kansas City, the tournament runner-up last year, received a first-place vote and tallied 260 points. Oakland (234) and North Dakota State (221) went third and fourth, respectively. IUPUI earned a first-place vote with 213 total points for fifth... South Dakota registered 151 points, just ahead of Western's 138 points. Fort Wayne got the other first-place vote and recorded 96 points, while Omaha's 43 points rounded out the preseason poll.