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Jack Houpt and the Leathernecks Head to Georgia this Weekend
Courtesy: WIU Visual Productions Center
Jack Houpt and the Leathernecks Head to Georgia this Weekend
Jack Houpt and the Leathernecks Head to Georgia this Weekend
Courtesy: Western Illinois Athletics  
Release: Monday 11/23/2012
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ON TAP: The Western Illinois men’s basketball team (3-2) travels to Georgia this weekend to face the Tigers of Savannah State (3-3) on Saturday (Nov. 24). The two teams are slated to tip-off at 11 a.m. CT.

Saturday’s game will be the ninth-ever on November 24th...Western owns a 4-4 all-time record on the date...The Leathernecks have defeated: Monmouth College, Augustana, Illinois State, and Prairie View A&M on the date...Western has lost to: Butler, Bradley, Florida State, and Saturday’s opponent, Savannah State on November 24th...All-time results for Western games played on Nov. 24th are below:

1984 – Western 74, Monmouth College 73
1990 – Butler 82, Western 79
1998 – Western 71, Augustana 65
1999 – Western 72, Illinois State 70
2001 – Bradley 84, Western 69
2008 – Florida State 67, Western 55
2009 – Savannah State 52, Western 48
2010 – Western 69, Prairie View A&M 63

LAST TIME OUT: 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.

Jack Houpt also finished in double figures, scoring 10.

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.


Western Illinois Leathernecks
(3-2) at Savannah State Tigers (3-3)
WHERE: Savannah, Ga. • Tiger Arena (
Saturday, November 24 at 11 a.m. CT
Tied 2-2
LAST MEETING: Savannah State defeated Western, 51-47, on March 1, 2011 in Macomb


Live Audio:
The Dog (88.3 FM) and Classic 103 (102.7 FM)
Talent: Beau Spencer

Live Stats:

Live Video:



WIU Athletics

Preseason Information:

2012-13 Quick Facts
2012-13 Schedule
2012-13 Outlook
2012-13 Season Preview
2011-12 Highlights

A LOOK AT THE TIGERS: Savannah State is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and enters Saturday’s game with a 3-3 record...The Tigers most recently dropped back-to-back games on the road, first to Central Florida 53-50, and lastly to #7 Florida, 58-40...Last season SSU finished the year 21-12 overall and won their conference’s regular season title with a 14-2 league record...It was SSU’s first regular season crown since the 1980-81 season...The Tigers then lost in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament to Tennessee...SSU is led by Rashad Hassan who averages 15.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game... Preston Blackman sits second on the team with 9.0 points per game, and leads the team with 16 assists on the season.

The Tigers are coached by Horace Broadnax (Georgetown ‘86) who enters Saturday’s contest with a 89-116 record coaching the Tigers, and a career coaching record of 131-214.

Western owns a 2-2 record versus Savannah State...All of Western’s games versus Savannah State occurred while Leatherneck head coach Jim Molinari was at the helm...The first came on November 24, 2009 when the Leathernecks lost, 52-48...Western later beat the Tigers that season at home on January 4th, 55-51...The two teams again played a home-and-home series the following season with Western downing the Tigers, 83-47, on the road before dropping a home game to SSU on March 1st, 51-47.

A win would mark the 1,206th victory in program history...A win would mark head coach Jim Molinari’s 51st victory at Western, and his 274th victory all-time as a head coach...A win would be Western’s third-ever over Savannah State and give the Leathernecks the all-time series advantage, 3-2.

Head coach Jim Molinari and the men’s basketball program  signed three players during the early signing period this fall in: Jabari Sandifer (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley), Garret Covington (Edwardsville, Ill./Edwardsville) and Tate Stensfaard (Rapid City, S.D./Stevens).

The men’s basketball team will play four games on television during the 2012-13 season, not including The Summit League tournament...Five of the games will air on Fox College Sports...A complete list of men’s basketball TV games is below:

November 29     at South Dakota     Fox College Sports Atlantic / Midco Sports Net
January 26     at Oakland     Fox College Sports Atlantic / Fox Sports Detroit
February 2     at IUPUI     Fox College Sports Atlantic / HomeTown Sports
February 16     at South Dakota State    Fox College Sports Pacific / Midco Sports Net

Western did not make a three-pointer in its game versus Evansville on November 17, 2012 (0-for-4)...It was the first time a Leatherneck men’s basketball team had not connected on a triple since they went 0-for-5 at Wisconsin-Green Bay on February 2, 1991.

Terell Parks has had two games this season with 15 or more points in the first half of a game, both of which came in the team’s loses...The first came at SIU-E (15 points), and the other coming at Evansville (16 points).
Ceola Clark III ranks third amongst active career scoring leaders in The Summit League (1,158 points), fifth in rebounds (384), and second in assists (359).

Ceola Clark III ranks 18th overall in points scored in program history with 1,158 career points...He is 12 points away from passing Jack Pensinger (1,169 points) on Western all-time points list, and 14 away from passing Lupe Rios (1,171 points).

Ceola Clark III became the Western Illinois career steals leader last season, picking up his 168th swipe at UMKC on January 19th, 2012...Clark passed Bill Heisler who finished his playing career with 167 steals...Clark has 197 career steals to date.

1. 197 Ceola Clark III    2009-pr
2. 167 Bill Heisler    1997-01
3. 138 Andre Humphrey    1993-95

Ceola Clark III sits second in career triples made at Western with 190, and fifth in career three-pointers attempted with 422...Clark is 27 threes away from moving into first on Western’s all-time three pointers list (Bill Heisler - 216).

1. 216 Bill Heisler    1997-01
2. 190 Ceola Clark III    2009-pr
3. 181 Brandon Creason    1995-99

Ceola Clark III makes everyone else on the court around him better because of his ability to make great passes...Clark has amassed 359 career assists while at Western, which ranks 3rd all-time (1. Dwayne Banks - 506 & 2. Daryl Reed - 361).

1. 506 Dwayne Banks    1977-80
2. 361 Daryl Reed    1982-86

3. 359 Ceola Clark III    2009-pr

The Western Illinois men’s basketball team was picked to finish fourth in The Summit League’s annual preseason poll of league coaches, SIDs and media after receiving 274 points. The Fighting Leathernecks had a league-high two players selected to Preseason All-League First Team in seniors Ceola Clark III and Terell Parks. The fourth-place prediction is the highest for Western since the 2005-06 season when the Leathernecks were picked to finish fourth.

After being tabbed Preseason All-Summit League First Team by the league’s coaches, media and SIDs (Oct. 17), Ceola Clark III and Terell Parks were again honored, this time by College Sports Madness. Both Clark and Parks were named Preseason All-Summit League First Team by the staff at College Sports Madness.

Jim Molinari took over the Western Illinois program at the start of the 2008-09 season, and during his fourth season at the helm of the Leatherneck men’s basketball program, Molinari put Western Illinois basketball back on the map...He was tabbed Summit League ‘Coach of the Year’ by after leading the Leathernecks to a 18-15 overall record, a fourth-place finish in the The Summit League with a 9-9 league record, and the programs first-ever Division I postseason berth (2012 College Basketball Invitational).

Senior guard Ceola Clark III was granted a 6th year of eligibility in April, 2012, by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)...Clark had this to say about another year at Western” “It feels great,” said Clark. “Getting the opportunity to play the game I love for another year. I’m coming back with more determination than ever. Being able to play with a group of guys that took the men’s basketball program to where it hasn’t been in years, and being so close to making the NCAA Tournament, I’m excited to get one more shot with my team.”

Led by Ceola Clark III who enters his sixth year at Western Illinois, the Leathernecks have four total seniors this year...Jack Houpt is in his third year at Western, while Terell Parks and Don McAvoy III are each in their second season as Leathernecks.

This season the Fighting Leathernecks have six returners, seniors Ceola Clark III, Terell Parks, Jack Houpt and Don McAvoy III, junior Billy Molinari and sophomore Remy Roberts-Burnett.

This past offseason coach Molinari and the men’s basketball program brought in seven newcomers including two JUCO transfers in Adam Link and Michael Ochereobia...Western also has five freshmen this season in: Jordan Foster, Jamaal Walker, Jason Hawthorne, Isaiah Duncan and John Schneider.

Western Illinois holds the distinction of being the only non-military institution to officially have its nickname derived from a branch of the military service. The school began use of the Marine Corps’ official nickname, “The Fighting Leathernecks,” in 1927 when then-athletic director and head baseball, basketball and football coach Ray “Rock” Hanson was granted permission by the U.S. Navy, based on his status as a Marine hero, to use the Marine’s official seal, bulldog mascot and nickname.

UP NEXT: Western Illinois opens Summit League action next Thursday (Nov. 29) at South Dakota before playing at Kansas City in its second Summit League game two days later on Saturday.


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