MACOMB, Ill. - The Fighting Leathernecks outscored the Omaha Mavericks 20-0 to open Thursday (Feb. 7) evening's game inside Western Hall, helping launch Western to a 68-50 handling of UNO.
Western improves to 18-5 overall, tying the program's fourth-best NCAA Division I single-season win total. The Leathernecks also remain in a tie for first-place in The Summit League with South Dakota State with a 10-2 league mark.
Omaha falls to 8-18 overall and 5-8 in conference action after the loss.
Terell Parks picked up his league-best 10th double-double of the year, scoring 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting, and pulling down a career-high 16 rebounds. He also tallied three assists, two blocks and a steal on the night.
Link also tabbed three rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal. McAvoy added two rebounds, two assists and a steal to go along with his 11 points.
The Leathernecks shot better in all phases of the game: 49.1% - 33.3% from the field, 42.9% - 31.3% from three, and 66.7% - 50% from the free throw line.
Western also had more assists (17-11) and rebounds (40-33), while committing less fouls (8-11). Each team had four blocks and five steals, while UNO had one less turnover than the Leathernecks, 10-11.
The first nine minutes of the game was all Western, as the Leathernecks opened the game on a 20-0 run.
The Mavericks did not score a basket until the 10:30 mark of the first half, and were 0-of-14 up until that point.
Western and Omaha battled back-and-forth for the remainder of the period, and the Leathernecks took a 35-15 lead into the locker room at halftime. WIU connected on 16-of-27 (59.3%) shots in the first to UNO's 7-of-32 (21.9%).
The second half was much like the first for Western Illinois, with the Leathernecks eventually jumping out to their largest lead of the night, 58-25 (33 point lead), with 10:42 to play in the game.
The Mavericks wouldn't go down easy, however, as they would outscore Western 25-10 in the final 10 minutes of the contest.
The Leathernecks' lead proved to be to large, though, as Western picked up its 10th Summit League victory of the season as time expired.
Western has the rest of the week of before heading north to the Dakotas, first facing North Dakota State next Thursday (Feb. 14) followed by South Dakota State Saturday (Feb. 16).
The Western Illinois men's basketball team and the ROTC after the game.