ON TAP: Western Illinois (14-3 overall, 6-0 Summit League) plays host to South Dakota State (13-6 overall, 4-2 Summit League) Thursday evening inside Western Hall. The Summit League battle is set to square-off at 7 p.m.
WHO: South Dakota State Jackrabbits (13-6, 4-2) at Western Illinois Leathernecks (14-3, 6-0)
WHERE: Macomb, Ill. • Western Hall (5,139)
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.
SERIES HISTORY: SDSU leads 10-3
2012-13 Information Guide/Record Book
2012-13 Quick Facts
2012-13 Season Preview
NCAA DIVISION I ERA: No Leatherneck team has started a season 14-3 overall or earned 11 consecutive victories in Western’s Division I era.
MID-MAJOR TOP 25: Western moved up four spots to #18 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll Monday (Jan. 14)...The Leathernecks, who received 212 points, first appeared in the poll last Monday, January 7th at #22.
NCAA RPI: The Leathernecks are 158th on the NCAA’s most recent RPI ratings.
#CC3: Ceola Clark III sits second in career triples made at Western with 215, and second in career three-pointers attempted with 492...Clark is two triples away from moving into first on Western’s all-time three pointers list (Bill Heisler - 216).
3-POINT FG (DIVISION I) Year
1. 216 Bill Heisler 1997-01
2. 215 Ceola Clark III 2009-pr
3. 181 Brandon Creason 1995-99
UNBEATEN SINCE DECEMBER 1ST: Western is one of eight teams in the nation that has not lost a game in the months of December or January...The other seven teams are: Kansas, Louisville, Utah State, Butler, VCU, Creighton and NC State.
UNDEFEATED AT HOME: Western Illinois has not lost a game at home this season, a perfect 8-0 inside Western Hall...The Leathernecks are also undefeated in neutral site games with a perfect 2-0 mark (vs. Buffalo & Yale)...Western has won 10 straight at home since last season, a home court winning streak that ranks tied for 20th in the country.
BEST START SINCE: Western is off to its best start in its NCAA Division I history...No Western Illinois team has started a season 14-3 or better since the 1957-58 season when the Leathernecks started 27-0.
STREAKING: The Leathernecks picked up their 11th straight victory last Saturday against the Omaha Mavericks, a winning streak that started over a month ago on November 29th at South Dakota...The last time the Leathernecks earned 11 or more straight wins was during the 1957-58 season when they put together 27 consecutive wins.
WIN AFTER WIN AFTER WIN: Western’s 11-game winning streak ranks tied for third nationally with Louisville, Butler and VCU...Kansas ranks first with a 15-game winning streak, and Utah State ranks second in the country with 13 consecutive wins.
UNDEFEATED CONFERENCE RECORD: The last time the Leathernecks started conference play 6-0 or better was during the 1997-98 team...No Western Illinois team has started conference play 7-0 during Western’s Division I era.
MORE UNDEFEATED CONFERENCE RECORD: Western is one of only three NCAA Division I teams that is 6-0 or better in conference play.
WHAT’S IN A WESTERN WIN?: A win would mark the 1,217th victory in program history...A win would mark head coach Jim Molinari’s 62nd victory at Western, and his 285th victory all-time as a head coach...A win would be Western’s fourth-ever over South Dakota State, and snap a seven-game losing streak to the Jackrabbits...A win would mark the Leathernecks’ 12th straight.
IN THE NATION (As of 1/13/13): Western ranks in the top five of two national categories, fourth in defensive scoring, having held its opponents to 52.2 points per game, and fourth in personal fouls per game, having committed only 12.6 per game...The Leathernecks also rank in the top 100 of six other categories...27th in field goal percentage (47.8), 27th in both winning percentage (82.4), 34th field goal percentage defense (38.3), 39th in blocked shots per game (5.0), 51st in scoring margin (10.5), and 58th in turnovers per game (12.2).
CLARK AND PARKS NATION (As of 1/13/13): Seniors Ceola Clark III and Terell Parks rank in the top 100 of six national categories...Parks ranks 16th in blocked shots per game (2.82), 31st in double-doubles (6.0), 32nd in field goal percentage (56.0), 32nd in rebounds per game (9.4)...Clark ranks 47th in assist/turnover ratio (2.5) and 93rd in free throw percentage (83.9).
A LOOK AT THE JACKRABBITS: South Dakota State enters Thursday’s match 13-6 overall, and 4-2 in Summit League action...SDSU most recently swept Summit League action at home, defeating both Oakland and Fort Wayne...The Jackrabbits have three players averaging 10-plus points per game, led by Nate Wolters who is scoring 21.2 points per game, and leads the team with 5.8 rebounds per game, and 5.7 assists per game...Jordan Dykstra is averaging 12.8 PPG, and 6.9 RPG, while Tony Fiegen is averaging 10.4 PPG.
COACHING SOUTH DAKOTA STATE: The Jackrabbits are coached by Scott Nagy (Delta State, 1988), who is in his 18th year, and owns a 329-204 overall coaching record at the helm.
THE SERIES: South Dakota State leads the all-time series, 10-3...The Jackrabbits have won the last seven meetings, including last season’s Summit League Championship game, 52-50 in overtime, which propelled SDSU to its first NCAA Tournament bid.
LAST TIME OUT: 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.
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.
Five others scored in the game: Jack Houpt (9 points), Ceola Clark III (8), Jordan Foster (7), Michael Ochereobia (5), and Jason Hawthorne (3).
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.
UNDEFEATED DECEMBER: The Leathernecks finished the month of December with a 6-0 record...It was the first time Western finished the month of December undefeated in its Division I history, and the first time since the Leathernecks went 8-0 in December during the 1957-58 season.