EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The Western Illinois men’s basketball team played its first road contest of the year Wednesday night (Nov. 14), and despite trailing by only three at the break, the Fighting Leathernecks (1-1) fell to the SIU-E Cougars (1-1), 62-50.
Terell Parks and Ceola Clark III led Western in scoring with 18 and 15, respectively. Parks also finished with a game-high eight rebounds. Clark and Don McAvoy III each tallied three assists to lead the Leathernecks, while McAvoy also led the team in blocks with three.
Western had one more rebound in the game than the Cougars, 29-28.
The Leathernecks finished with 19 turnovers to SIU-E’s eight. The Cougars also had six more points off of the bench, 16-10.
SIU-E had only a slight advantage in points in the paint (26-24) and points off turnovers (17-16).
The Cougars shot better from the field (44.4% to 40%) and from beyond the arch (50% to 36.4%). Both team shot 70% from the charity stripe.
SIU-E was led by Jerome Jones who led the Cougars in points with 26, finishing 10-of-15 from the field, and rebounds with 6.
The Cougars jumped out to an early 6-2 lead after a pair of three pointers from their leading scorer, Jerome Jones, but the Leathernecks quickly closed in on the four-point deficit, and took their first lead of the game, 7-6, on a Parks layup at the 15:52 mark.
The rest of the first half was much like its start, with both teams regaining the lead often (6 lead changes), and one tie.
Terell Parks was nearly unstoppable for the Leathernecks in the first half, finishing with 15 points (7-of-10), the most he has scored in a half of any game in his career as the Leathernecks trailed by only three points, 31-28.
Parks’ 15 points was the third time he had tallied double-digits in the first half of a game, and the 11th time he has recorded more than 10 points in any half of play in his career.
SIU-E came out firing in the second with a 20-5 run in the first nine minutes of the second half, and increasing its lead over the Leathernecks to 51-33.
Western put together a 7-0 run to make it an 11-point contest, 51-40, with just under 10 minutes to play in regulation, but SIU-E was able to respond with seven straight points of their own, and increase their lead to, 58-40.
SIU-Edwardsville wouldn’t allow Western to get within single-digits for the remainder of the contest, and won, 62-50.
The Leathernecks continue their road swing in Evansville, Ind. this weekend (Nov. 16-18) for the 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Western plays Buffalo Friday, Evansville Saturday, and Yale Sunday.