Leathernecks fall in overtime at home to Chicago State


Jake Thompson

Senior Garrett Covington paced the Leathernecks with a career-high 30 points in the loss to Chicago State.

MACOMB, Ill. — Garret Covington scored a season-high 30 points, one shy of his career high, but Western Illinois men’s basketball dropped its non-league tilt at home Saturday afternoon (Dec. 3) in overtime, 83-76. There were a total of 10 ties and 17 lead changes in the game. The Leathernecks dropped to 2-6 after the defeat and Chicago State improved to 3-4 overall.

“We just need better execution. We know what to do and we know what to expect,” said head coach Billy Wright. “We have to give them (Chicago State) credit because they made their free throws down the stretch. We had some good looks and opportunities, but just missed them down the stretch.”

Covington’s 30 points moved him from eighth all-time in career points at Western Illinois to sixth. His 14 free throws made was a career best, and was only three shy of tying Western’s record for free throws in a game. After today’s contest the senior guard has 1,517 career points. Covington was also one rebound shy of a double-double and recorded four assists and two steals.

Western jumped out to a four-point advantage, 6-2, after the first minute of play, but Chicago State used a 6-0 run to grab its first lead of the game during the next four minutes of the first half. Western was able to grab the lead nine more times in the game, but each of those leads were limited to only one point prior to Chicago State regaining the advantage.

Mike Miklusak tallied 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and 5-of-7 from long range. He also grabbed six rebounds in 33 minutes of action before fouling out late in the second half.

Chicago State was led by Fred Sims, Jr. who finished with 30 points.

Western has the week off before welcoming Eastern Illinois to Macomb for the back end of their home-and-home series next Saturday (Nov. 10) at 2 p.m.

“Anytime you can get back in the gym and work consecutively, it’s great and that’s exactly what we have to do,” Wright said. “It’s been a tough stretch over these last three weeks, so it’s nice to get some rest and recover. But at the same time, we will have to get back to work and get our chemistry where it needs to be, specifically for 40 minutes.”