Women’s basketball’s upcoming week

Michelle Maher (14) leads the team in assists (35) and steals (19). Sophie Reichelt (44) scored 34 points her last time on the court, and leads the team in points with 109.

Lucas Whitten

Only six games remain in non-conference play for the Western Illinois women’s basketball team before Summit League action begins.

The Leathernecks (4-3) started off their season with a 3-1 record, but over the holiday break they dropped two out of their last three, and now are looking to find their winning ways again against some favorable matchups.

Western will enter this week coming off of a 75-59 victory against Bethune-Cookman that included Sophie Reichelt scoring a career-high 34 points and being named the Tournament MVP of the North Florida Thanksgiving Classic.

Over the next seven days, the Leathernecks will take on the Eastern Illinois Panthers (1-5), the Ashford Saints (1-7) and the North Dakota Fighting Hawks (1-5).

No game should ever be considered a sure-win, but you have to think the Leathernecks have a good chance at sweeping the week.

First up is a trip to visit the EIU Panthers in Charleston, Illinois. The Panthers’ one win this season came against the IUPUI Jaguars, a Summit League rival for the Leathernecks. The last time the Panthers and the Leathernecks faced off was last season in Macomb, where the Leathernecks took a 63-54 victory.

The Leathernecks’ fast-paced, high-scoring offense should prove to be trouble for the Panthers, who have only scored more than 50 points in three of their six games. The Leathernecks haven’t played a game where they have scored less than 75 this season.

The Ashford Saints will make a trip to Macomb to face the Leathernecks next. The Saints have had a rough start to their season, starting off 0-7 and then finding their first victory against William Penn University, 61-50.

Ashford also hasn’t won a game yet on the road this season, and this will probably continue against Western. The Saints are averaging 53 points per game and the Leathernecks average 84.

Following Ashford, the Leathernecks will travel to Grand Forks, North Dakota to take on the North Dakota Fighting Hawks, another team with only one win on their schedule. The win came over a Summit League foe, the Omaha-Nebraska Mavericks.

The Hawks are currently riding a three game losing streak and have a matchup against Northern Iowa before taking on the Leathernecks.

One of North Dakota’s losses was against the Iowa Hawkeyes 83-61, their first loss of the season.

The Leathernecks also took on and lost to the Hawkeyes earlier this season, falling in overtime 96-81.

As I said earlier, there are no such things as sure-wins, but look for the Leathernecks to be three wins higher in the win-loss column.

Twitter: @LucasWhit10