MACOMB, Ill. - A balanced attack from the Western Illinois men's basketball team helped the Fighting Leathernecks to a 71-39 victory over the Wabash Little Giants Saturday evening (Nov. 10) inside Western Hall.
“I thought that was a good game for us, in that it was a physical game," said Western Illinois head coach Jim Molinari. "We don’t guard many off the ball screens like that in practice because we set ball screens, so it was good for us to do that. We were very competitive."
"I thought the game changed when we started pressuring the ball, when we started doing that that, it really helped us," Molinari added. "That’s what changed the game for us in the first half, we started getting turnovers. That’s how Western Illinois Basketball has to look, possession-by-possession, get good shots and be physical.”
The Leathernecks were down early on, but Wabash's lead didn't last long as Western knotted things up at 4-4 five minutes into the game. It was a back-and-forth battle until there were about six minutes left in the first half, when the Leathernecks went on a 14-0 run and took a 30-13 lead. The big 14-0 run was part of an 18-2 Western run to close the first half as the Leathernecks took a 34-15 advantage into the break.
From there it was all Western as the Little Giants' didn't get closer than 14 points throughout the remainder of the game and Western cruised to a 71-39 victory.
Terell Parks led all scorers with 15, while Ceola Clark III (12) and Adam Link (10) each tallied 10-plus points on the night. Three other Leathernecks also contributed offensively in: Michael Ochereobia (9 points), Jason Hawthorne
Besides his game-high 15 points, Parks also finished with a game-high seven rebounds in the win. Ochereobia (6) and Clark (5) also helped Western on the glass.
Western finished with 13 assists in the game, with seven different Leathernecks dishing out at least one.
Wabash was led by Ross Sponsler (14 points) and Kasey Oetting (13 points).
The Leathernecks hit the road next week to begin an eight-game road swing, beginning with a non conference tilt at SIU-Edwardsville on Wednesday.