EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Senior forward Terell Parks’ first double-double of the season wasn’t enough for the Fighting Leathernecks Saturday evening (Nov. 17), as Western Illinois battled, but fell to the Evansville Purple Aces on the road, 49-44.
Parks finished with 21 points (10-of-20) and 11 rebounds (5 off. 6 def.), both game-highs, to lead Western Illinois (2-2). He also recorded two blocks and an assist. Don McAvoy III was the only other Leatherneck to record double figures in scoring, tallying 10 to go along with his eight rebounds.
Ceola Clark III finished the game with a game-high four helpers, two points, three rebounds, a block, and a steal.
Western won the rebound battle, 37-29, and shot better from the field 42.6% - 35.4%.
UE was better from the free throw line than Western, 73.3% - 40%. The Aces were also better in points off of turnover, 13-6, and bench points, 17-3.
After a total of eight turnovers in the first half (WIU 3, UE 5), Evansville had 10 and Western tallied 15 by games end.
There were seven lead changes in the game.
Evansville was led by Jordan Jahr who scored 13 points and grabbed a team-best eight rebounds.
Parks, who entered the game averaging 15 points a game, scored the first basket of the game after two scoreless minutes of play. It was the first of eight first half field goals for Parks who scored 16 first half points, the most he had ever scored in a half of basketball.
After Evansville tied it up at 4-4, Western went on a 10-0 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 14-4, highlighted by three baskets from Parks, and two from McAvoy.
UE’s Jaylon Moore ended the Leathernecks’ run at the 10:20 mark of first, and sparked a 6-0 run for the Aces that made it a 14-10 game. A McAvoy contested layup ended UE’s run at the 9:01 mark.
Following a Western timeout, the Aces put together an 8-2 run that would knot the game up at 18 each with 5:30 left in the first half.
The rest of the first was a back-and-forth contest with the Leathernecks taking a 26-24 lead after 20 minutes of play.
McAvoy had six points at the break, and Clark dished out a team-best four first half assists.
Parks continued to be a force at the beginning of the second half, scoring the period’s first two points and grabbing a rebound in the first 30 seconds of period.
After nearly four minutes of play in the second, Evansville’s Jordan Jahr hit on a trey to give UE the lead back, 29-28. The triple was the first of the year for Jahr.
The two teams continued to exchange baskets until the Leathernecks put together a 14-5 run over seven minutes of play to take a 42-34 lead at the midway point of the second half. A three-point play from Moore would end the run with 8:38 to play.
The Leathernecks’ five-point lead was eventually cut to two after Jahr hit his second triple of the game to make it 42-40 with seven minutes to play.
The score would stay the same until the 2:39 mark of the second when Jahr hit his third triple of the second half to give UE the lead, 43-42. Evansville wouldn’t give up the lead for the rest of the game, and walk away with a 49-44 win.
Western concludes Coaches vs. Cancer Classic action tomorrow (Nov. 18) against Yale at 2 p.m.