OAKLAND CITY, Ind. - The Fighting Leathernecks' defense held Yale to six points over the final 14:25 of the game, propelling them to a 59-47 victory over the Bulldogs Sunday (Nov. 18) in Oakland City, Indiana. Western Illinois improves to 3-2 on the year, while Yale falls to 1-4.
The win gives Western a 2-1 record in the classic, and a 2-2 mark over the last five days.
Newcomer Adam Link was a staple for the Leathernecks in the scoring department, finishing with a game-high and career-best 18 points. Link also had four rebounds, had two assists, a block, and a steal.
Ceola Clark III got back on track Sunday, finishing with 12 points, eight of which that came on Western's 16-0 run midway through the second period. He also had a season-high six assists, pulled down five boards, and tallied four steals.
Terell Parks (8 points), Don McAvoy III (6 points), and Jason Hawthorne (5 points) were the only other Leathernecks to score. Parks also grabbed eight rebounds and had four blocks, while McAvoy snagged five boards and dished out three helpers.
For the fifth time this season the Leathernecks held their opponent to under 40% shooting (Yale: 36.6%), while Western shot 45.8% from the floor. The Leathernecks have not shot under 40% in a game all season.
Western was shooting 62% from the free throw line heading into Sunday's game, but was able to connect on 90.9% (10-of-11) against Yale.
The Leathernecks had 26 points in the paint to Yale's 16, and were able to take advantage of the Bulldogs' turnovers, scoring 18 points off of them. Yale scored just six points off of Western's turnovers.
Western had a season-high seven blocks in the game, the most since January 4, 2010 when the Leathernecks had nine versus Savannah State.
Yale had nobody record more than 10 points in the game, and was led by Brandon Sherrod and Javier Duren who each recorded nine points.
Parks carried over his offensive scoring power from a night ago into the game. The senior scored the first two points of the game, and the Leathernecks first four points of the contest as Western took an early 4-2 lead.
The Bulldogs were able to tie things up three times early, but it was Western who would hold the lead for the rest of the first half until Yale's Justin Sears, who finished the first with eight points, tipped in a missed Bulldog shot at the buzzer to give his team their first lead of the game at the break, 32-31.
Western's biggest lead of the half was six points, an advantage it held five times throughout the period.
Link led all scorers with 10 in the first, Parks and McAvoy each had six points.
The two teams continued to battle early in the second half, but at the 15:46 mark of the second, Yale's Austin Morgan drained a triple to give the Bulldogs their biggest lead up to that point, 38-35.
Yale was able to build its lead up to six points, but Western was able to score 11 straight points highlighted by eight from Clark (2 free throws and 2 threes), and a triple from Houpt triple, would give Western the lead back, 46-41, with 10 minutes left in the game.
Western built its run up to 16-0 after a Link lay-in, and a
Yale would be held to six points over the final 14:25 minutes of play, as the Leathernecks would finish the game on a 24-6 run, and earn a 59-47 victory to conclude the 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
The Leathernecks hit the road again next week to continue their eight-game road trip, this time to Georgia to face the Savannah State Tigers on Saturday (Nov. 24).