FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The Western Illinois men's basketball team earned its 16th victory of the 2012-13 season Thursday night (Jan. 24), downing Fort Wayne in a defensive battle on the road, 43-40.
The Fighting Leathernecks improve to 16-4 overall on the season and 8-1 in Summit League play, while the Mastodons fall to 9-13 overall, and 2-6 in conference action.
Western's 16 wins sits tied for seventh all-time in the program's Division I era. The win also marks the Leathernecks' fourth straight over IPFW, and gives them the season sweep.
Ceola Clark III and Remy Roberts-Burnett led the way in terms of points and assists for the Leathernecks, with Clark recording 11 points and three assists, and Roberts-Burnett scoring 10 points and dishing out two helpers.
Adam Link tallied eight points in the victory, and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
Terell Parks had six rebounds and two points.
Both teams shot under 40% from the field, with the Leathernecks connecting on 35.9% of their shots, and IPFW knocking down 34.9% of its shots.
Fort Wayne edged Western in the turnover battle, 12-13, and rebounding, 28-26.
The Mastodons scored the game's first points of the game, a three from Luis Jacobo, but the Leathernecks responded by scoring 11 unanswered points, and taking an early 11-3 advantage.
At the second media timeout of the game, 11:56 left in the first half, Western was up 15-4, and had connected on 6-of-7 shooting, compared to IPFW's 1-of-8 from the floor.
A 12-4 run for the Mastodons, until their was roughly five minutes to play in the first, would make it a three point game, 19-16.
The two teams would exchange buckets for the remainder of the period, and the Leathernecks would hold a 24-20 lead at halftime.
Western gradually built its lead back up to double-digits during the first 10 minutes of the second half, 39-29, out scoring IPFW 15-9 during that time.
The low-scoring affair continued late into the second, and the Leathernecks were also able to hold onto their lead. Heading into the final four minutes of play Western led the Mastodons by seven, 43-36.
IPFW rattled off a 9-0 run during the final 8:35 of the game, but the Leathernecks were able to keep them from tying the game in regulation, and left Fort Wayne victorious.
The Leathernecks continue Summit League road action at Oakland (9-13, 4-4 Summit League) Saturday (Jan. 26), with tip slated for 4 p.m. CT.