Western Courier

Leathernecks look to tame Cougars

Taylor+Higginbotham+gathers+for+a+layup
Taylor Higginbotham gathers for a layup

Taylor Higginbotham gathers for a layup

Angel Strack/photo editor

Angel Strack/photo editor

Taylor Higginbotham gathers for a layup

Devon Greene, Assistant Sports Editor

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The Western Illinois University women’s basketball team is looking to rebound at home tonight after a 10-point loss to the University of Milwaukee Panthers. The Chicago State University Cougars head to Macomb for their second game of the season with the Leathernecks.

The first matchup between the two teams this season took place in Chicago where the Purple and Gold handed the Cougars a demoralizing 83-45 loss. Senior point guard Emily Clemens posted her season high in points at Chicago state with a 21-point output. Clemens also wrote her name in the Leatherneck history books when she surpassed 1,000 points, 500 assists and 200 steals in the game.

The Cougars have plenty of problems this season as their record reflects with an 0-6 start. They are losing games by an average of 25.5 points per game and their season high scoring outpoint is 69. The Cougars were held to 36 percent from the field the last time they played the Leathernecks and shot 0-8 from the three-point line. Chicago State is shooting the worst three-point percentage in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) at an abysmal 18 percent from beyond the arch. Granted, they don’t take many shots from outside, only taking 15 this year and over half coming in the game against Western.

They also recorded a whopping 30 turnovers which is only their third highest turnover total in a game this season. To contrast, Western’s highest turnover total this season is 16. Chicago State ranks last in the WIC in turnovers with 146 this season and hold a negative 6.83 margin on the season. This bodes well for Western because they are second in the Summit League in steals per game. They also have three players in the top five players in the Summit League in steals per game. Clemens is far and away the leader with 4.1 steals per game, senior guard Michelle Farrow follows her with 2.3 and junior guard Taylor Higginbotham currently ranks fourth with 2.1.

Chicago State also ranks last in the WAC for scoring defense at 76.3 points per game. This stat looks like it will get worse against the Leathernecks as the Purple and Gold are far and away the highest scoring team in the Summit League at 89.9 points per game. 12.9 higher than the second highest team, North Dakota State.

Western has reached this point per game output shooting a better field goal percentage than anyone else in the conference. They are shooting 45.1 percent on the year and 34.4 from the three-point line.  A big component in their efficiency on the offensive side is their ability to move the ball. The Purple and Gold have two women in the top five in assists this year as Clemens and sophomore guard Oliva Kaufmann have shown a knack for finding their open teammates.

This game is a good one for the Leathernecks to bounce back and avoid a two-game losing streak on their home court. They won by 18 the last time these two teams played, and there is no reason to expect a different outcome.

Twitter: devondeadlysins

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Leathernecks look to tame Cougars