Men’s hoops tries for sixth win


Pedro Avila / assistant photo editor

Dalan Ancrum looks for the ball on a Leatherneck fast break.

Becca Langys, Courier Staff

The Western Illinois University men’s basketball team takes on their seventh game of the season this Saturday Dec. 2 against the Miami University RedHawks, tipoff will take place at 7 p.m. in Western Hall.

The Leathernecks have been having a successful season, only having a single loss under their belt as they enter the seventh game of their 2017-2018 season. To start the year, the team was incredibly determined to bounce back from their previous season, and they have been very successful with this goal thus far.

When talking to the team during their pre-season interviews, the Leathernecks made it clear that their main goal was to rack up as many wins as they can in order to boost their record and pick up
their program.

Western is currently being led by top scorer senior guard/forward Dalan Ancrum who has 117 individual points and 43 total successful shots on the season thus far. Closely following Ancrum is junior center Brandon Gilbeck with 85 points and standout freshman point-guard Kobe Webster with 84 points. Gilbeck also leads the team with a whopping 20 blocks this season so far.

During their previous game against IUPUI, the Leathernecks bounced back from their first loss of the season against Iowa State, and they plan to continue maintaining their high energy levels and momentum coming into their game against the RedHawks. The Miami University roster is abundant in players who are tall and athletic, and the Leathernecks must bring an equal amount of athleticism and determination to the court in order to come out on top.

The RedHawks currently have a record of 4-3 compared to Western’s record of 5-1, putting the odds in favor of the Leathernecks for this weekend’s matchup. Currently, the Leathernecks average a total of 78.5 points per game and the RedHawks average 72.4 points per game, making the teams similar from a scoringstandpoint. Miami currently only has 23 blocks this season whilst Western has 31, making the Leathernecks a stronger team from a defensive standpoint.

Historically, the Miami University basketball team has performed poorly when playing away games, so it may benefit the Leathernecks that they are hosting the game on their home court. In tune with this, the Leathernecks have an undefeated record at home, putting them at an even greater advantage.

Both the Leathernecks and the RedHawks are evenly matched across the board, so it will be crucial that the Leathernecks bring high amounts of energy and momentum to the court in order to secure their sixth win of the season. With it being a home game, the Leathernecks should have no issue using the energy from the crowd. Not only do they need to bring the fire, but the Leathernecks must also maintain their strong defense and continue making their shots or else they may lose their chance to maintain their perfect home court record.

The Western men’s basketball team takes on the RedHawks in their seventh game of the season tomorrow in Western Hall. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.

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