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Leathernecks ground the Redhawks

Taylor+Higginbotham+tosses+a+pass+against+Illinois+College.
Taylor Higginbotham tosses a pass against Illinois College.

Taylor Higginbotham tosses a pass against Illinois College.

goleathernecks.com

goleathernecks.com

Taylor Higginbotham tosses a pass against Illinois College.

Haley Richards, Assistant Sports Editor

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The Western Illinois University Leathernecks women’s basketball team took on the Southeast Missouri State University Redhawks at home Tuesday and won 87-59. The Leathernecks move onto 8-2 on the season, while the Redhawks fell to 4-5.

Junior guard Taylor Higginbotham once again had an exceptional performance for the Purple and Gold. She scored 25 points and had seven rebounds on the night.

Higginbotham became the 17th Leatherneck in program history to join the 1000-point club. In total, she currently has 1022 career points. This makes her the 16th all-time in scoring in school history.

This was her 14th career game with 20-plus points and is the second game in a row of her doing so. She also hit 14 free throws, which is a new career high.

“Obviously, it was a good win against SEMO and I thought it was one of the best halves we’ve played all year,” said head coach JD Gravina. “They [SEMO] were really aggressive and I thought we were able to attack them and get to the free throw line. We shared the ball well and had some of the best ball movement I’ve seen, which is the way basketball is supposed to be played. We knew that they were going to come out and fight in the second half, so I was proud of how our girls responded in the second half.”

The starting five for the Purple and Gold were senior guards Emily Clemens, Morgan Blumer and Michelle Farrow, senior forward Olivia Braun and Higginbotham.

The Leathernecks jumped to a quick lead after Farrow hit two 3-pointers and a layup with just about six minutes left in the first quarter. This forced the Redhawks to take a timeout.

Farrow was subbed out just two minutes later by senior guard Taylor Hanneman. Hanneman got in and hit back-to-back threes to give Western a 10-point lead headed into the second quarter.

When Farrow got back on the court in the second quarter, she immediately hit a three, giving Western a 32-19 lead. Following Farrow’s shot, Blumer hit another three, helping the Leathernecks to an even greater advantage.

The lead eventually to 42-21 after Higginbotham made a layup as she was fouled with 3:24 left in the first half. This forced the Redhawks to take a timeout. Western finished the half leading by a score of 52-25.

The Purple and Gold maintained a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game and finished with a 28-point win.

Clemens accompanied Higginbotham and Farrow who also hit double figures in scoring. Clemens recorded her 54th career double-digit scoring game and her nine assists of the game marked her 49th career game with five or more assists. Farrow’s 15 points marked her 16th career double-digit scoring game. She also tied her career-high of one block for the 11th time. Senior forward Olivia Braun also recorded a career high of four steals.

Western Illinois will now hit the road for five straight games, they will not return until Jan. 4.  The Leathernecks’ first opponent will be Austin Peay State University, followed by Stanford University, Gonzaga University, Bradley University and conference opponent Indiana University Purdue University-Fort Wayne.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Leathernecks ground the Redhawks