MOSCOW, Idaho – Freshman guard Garret Covington recorded a game-high 22 points and senior Adam Link grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds, but the Western Illinois men’s basketball team dropped a hard fought contest to Idaho Saturday evening (Nov. 9), 67-63.
Besides Covington, two other Leathernecks finished with 10-plus points in Tate Stensgaard (11) and Remy Roberts-Burnett (10). Covington also had three steals, two rebounds, an assist and a block. Stensgaard, however, was only able to play nine minutes in the game as he was in foul trouble early. Both of the Leathernecks' big men, Stensgaard and Ochereobia, fouled out midway through the second half.
Jordan Foster, Sandifer and Link led Western with three assists each, while Sandifer also tallied seven rebounds in the contest.
The Vandals had two players score more than 10 points in Stephen Madison who finished with 21 and Glen Dean who tallied 15. Madison also had a game-high 14 rebounds.
Idaho took an early 5-0 lead after knocking down a three-pointer, the games first points, and a pair of free throws. The Leathernecks would respond, though, putting together a 10-2 run thanks in large part to three consecutive field goals from Stensgaard.
Western retained its lead until the Vandals tied the contest up at 17 apiece midway through the first half. The back-and-forth period continued as both teams struggled from the field, and the Vandals took a 27-26 lead into the break.
WIU shot just 37% from the first in the first (10-27), while Idaho was just 8-of-23 (34.8%) from the floor.
Idaho opened the second period on a 13-4 run giving the Vandals a 40-30 advantage.
Convington ended Idaho's run and sparked the Leathernecks when he converted on a layup with 15:15 left in regulation, was fouled, and completed the three-point play making the score 40-33.
Rattling off four more unanswered points was Covington who continued to lead the Leatherneck run, getting WIU within three, 40-37, with just under 13 minutes to play in the game.
Western eventually capped-off an 18-4 run, giving the Leathernecks a 48-44 lead with 8:30 remaining in regulation.
The next six minutes was a back-and-forth affair with three ties and neither team gaining a lead larger than two points. WIU found themselves up three, 59-56, with just over two minutes left in the game after Covington knocked down a pair of free throws.
Idaho came back with a 7-0 run over the next 1:30, however, leaving WIU trailing 63-59 with only 25 seconds on the clock. The Vandals would eventually hold off the Leathernecks for a 67-63 win.
WIU continues its road swing Tuesday (Nov. 12) at Nebraska. The two teams are slated to tip-off at 7 p.m.