OMAHA, Neb. - The Western Illinois men's basketball team, who owns the program's best start during its NCAA Division I era, picked up its 11th consecutive victory Saturday (Jan. 12) at Omaha, 89-74, marking the most consecutive wins the program has earned in its Division I history.
The last time men’s basketball started 14-3 or better, and earned 11 consecutive wins was during the 1957-58 season, over 55 years ago.
The 6-0 Summit League start is the best conference start since the 1997-98 season.
Terell Parks picked up his sixth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds, both game-highs. He also had two blocks.
Three other Leathernecks finished with 10-plus points. Don McAvoy III recorded 15 points, two boards and two blocks, Adam Link tallied 12 points, three boards and two blocks, and Remy Roberts-Burnett finished with 11 points, six rebounds, five assists, and one steal.
UNO had four players score in double figures led by Justin Simmons who had 18 points.
The Leathernecks shot 57.4% from the field, while the Mavericks connected on 44.4% of their shots. Western also shot better from three (55.6%-23.1%) and the free throw line (84.6%-62.5%).
Omaha committed only seven turnovers in the game to Western's 10. The Leathernecks had more rebounds (35-29), assists (13-8), and blocks (7-2) than the Mavericks.
Similar most of the Leathernecks' games as of late, they found themselves down early. UNO was able to build an early 11-2 lead during the first four minutes of the game. That, however, wouldn't last long as Western would respond with a 9-0 run to ties things up at 11 with just over 11 minutes to play in the half.
The Mavericks would quickly regain their lead, but Western was able to tie things back up at 20, and eventually take its first lead of the game thanks for a McAvoy triple with 2:35 left before halftime. The Leathernecks took a three-point advantage into the half, leading UNO 32-29.
Western came out in the second firing, kicking-off the period on a 15-6 run. The Leathernecks gradually built their lead up to as large as 22 points, and after absorbing a late, strong Omaha run, closed out the Summit League victory.
The Leathernecks return home next week for a pair of Summit League match ups, first against South Dakota State on Thursday (Jan. 17), and then versus North Dakota State on Saturday (Jan. 19). Both games will take place at Western Hall and tip-off at 7 p.m.