WIU Returns to Western Hall to Face Omaha, Denver


MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois men’s basketball team returns home this week for a pair of Summit League contests at Western Hall. On Thursday night, the Leathernecks (8-6, 1-2) host Omaha (5-10, 1-2) at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the Leathernecks welcome Denver (10-6, 1-2) for a 2 p.m. tip. Both games will be streamed on Leatherneck All Access and broadcast on 98.1 FM.

Who |Omaha (5-10, 1-2) at Western Illinois (8-6, 1-2)
When |Thursday, 6 p.m.
Where | Western Hall, Macomb, Illinois
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Who | Denver (10-6, 1-2) at Western Illinois (8-6, 1-2)
When | Saturday, 2 p.m.
Where | Western Hall, Macomb, Illinois
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Last time out:
Western Illinois fell in a pair of road games, losing 71-64 at South Dakota State last Thursday and 80-63 at South Dakota on Saturday. Against the Jackrabbits, the Leathernecks trailed by as many as 13 before grabbing a five-point lead with under six minutes to play. However, SDSU outscored WIU 15-3 in the final 5:30. Against USD, WIU fell behind big once again before trimming the deficit to four. USD was able to go on a big run and win by 17.

About the Leathernecks:
Western Illinois had its six-game win streak snapped last week on the trip through South Dakota and enter the week on a two-game skid and currently tied for sixth with Omaha, Denver and North Dakota State. The Leathernecks average 75.7 points per game will allowing 71.8. WIU is shooting 46.2 percent from the floor while allowing foes to make 45 percent. Alec Rosner leads the team, scoring 15.3 points per game. Trenton Massner adds 15.2 while Jesiah West adds 11.2 and Quinlan Bennett is chipping in with 10.2. West leads the team with 6.3 rebounds per game while Massner adds 5.8 and Bennett 5.0.

About the Mavericks:
Omaha is 5-10 overall, 1-2 in the Summit. The Mavericks have lost two-straight league games (vs. ORU, UMKC) after opening conference play with a win over Denver. Omaha is scoring 68.9 points per contest while allowing 77.0. The Mavericks are shooting 44.5 percent from the field and allowing foes to make 47.5 percent of their shots. Marquel Sutton leads the squad, scoring 12.3 points per game while Frankie Fidler adds 12.1 and JJ White scores 9.6. Fidler adds 5.5 rebounds per game while Sutton contributes 4.9.

About the Pioneers:
Denver has lost three of its last four games, including an 80-62 loss to Oral Roberts in its last game. Prior to the ORU loss, Denver defeated Kansas City 85-83 in three overtimes. The Pioneers lost 57-52 to Oregon State and 83-66 to Omaha in their other Summit League game. Denver is averaging 75.6 points per game while allowing foes to score 74.6. The Pioneers are shooting 50.4 from the field while allowing teams to make 45.2 percent of their shots. Tommy Bruner leads the scoring with 16.2 points per game while Justin Mullins adds 11.6 and Touko Tainamo adds 11.2. Tyree Corbett is averaging 8.8 rebounds per game while Tainamo adds 5.6. Prior to the game in Macomb, Denver is at St. Thomas on Thursday.

Fast facts:
Elijah Farr’s 16-point performance at SDSU last Thursday was a Leatherneck career high. Omaha leads the career series vs. WIU, 15-13. The Leathernecks have won three of the last for games vs. the Mavericks. Denver leads the all-time series vs. Western Illinois 13-7. The Pioneers won the last meeting between the two schools, 83-77 at Western Hall, snapping WIU’s three-game win streak vs. the Pioneers. Western Illinois has won four of the last five vs. Denver inside Western Hall.

What’s next:
After this week’s homestand, Western Illinois heads back to the road. The Leathernecks visit current league-leader Oral Roberts on Jan. 12 (7) and second-place Kansas City Jan. 14 (7 p.m.).

Copy provided by Western Athletic Communications

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