ST. PAUL, MN – A season-high 20 points from Quinlan Bennett was not enough for the Leathernecks on Saturday night as Western Illinois fell to St. Thomas 82-69 in St. Paul.
Bennett had a new season-best, scoring 20 points to lead Western Illinois (15-12 overall, 8-8 in the Summit League). Bennett also finished with a double-double, grabbing 12 rebounds.
Bennett was not the lone Western Illinois player to finish with a double-double as Jesiah West grabbed a season-best 14 rebounds to go along with 11 points.
The Leathernecks led 29-22 with four minutes, 45 seconds to go in the first half but a 14-0 run by St. Thomas gave the Tommies a 36-29 lead at the break. The UST run would continue in the second half as St. Thomas took a lead as large as 14.
Trenton Massner would finish with 15 points, eight assists and three steals, scoring his 1000th point as a Leatherneck on the evening. Alec Rosner would also score in double digits, finishing with 12 points.
Western Illinois shot 36.6 percent from the field (26-71), including 7-28 (25 percent) from three while St. Thomas went 26-54 (48.1) from the floor and 9-24 (37.5) from three.
The defeat dropped Western Illinois to fifth in the Summit League, one game back of St. Thomas and North Dakota State, which are tied for third and one game ahead of sixth-place Kansas City.
The Leathernecks close out the regular season with a pair of road games next week, taking on North Dakota on Thursday and North Dakota State on Saturday.