Leathernecks look to hault Pioneers

Becca Langys, Assistant Photo Editor

The Western Illinois men’s basketball team is scheduled to play against the University of Denver Pioneers this Thursday. The Leathernecks will travel to Denver to participate in their 6th conference game of the season.

Leading the Leathernecks from an offensive standpoint, freshman point-guard Kobe Webster continues to be a standout player, earning a total of 286 points so far this season. Webster also proves to be the top overall 3-point shooter, having a total of 42 successful 3-point shots on the season so far.

Closely following Webster is senior guard/forward Dalan Ancrum, who has earned 266 points for the Leathernecks. Ancrum is currently ranked 4th in the Summit League for his free-throw percentage. Junior center Brandon Gilbeck is also catching some conference status, currently ranking 2nd in the Summit League for his field-goal percentage.

Webster currently averages a total of 15.9 points per game, followed by Ancrum who averages 14.8 points per game.

From a defensive standpoint, Gilbeck continues to dominate on the court. Gilbeck currently averages 2.9 blocks per game and has a total of 53 blocks this season so far. Gilbeck not only leads the Leathernecks in blocks, but he also leads in the Summit League making him ranked first in conference for blocks.

Ancrum also leads Western defensively; with 20 steals for the season so far. Closely following Ancrum is Webster who has raked up a total of 14 steals.

Taking a look at Denver’s bench, the Pioneers are currently being led by senior center Daniel Amigo, who has earned 315 points this season so far averaging in 15.8 points per game. Following Amigo is junior guard Joe Rosga who has 309 points and averages 15.5 points per game. Both Denver and Western have top-scoring players that average about the same per game.

Defensively, the Pioneers are led in blocks by Amigo, who currently has nine blocks. Following Amigo, sophomore guard Ade Murkey has earned a total of seven blocks for Denver. Statistically speaking, Western defense dominates over the Pioneers in regards to blocking percentages.

The Western Illinois men’s basketball team is also currently ranked 9th in the nation for defensive rebounds per contest.

The Leathernecks currently average a total of 75.1 points per game, while the Pioneers average 71.8 points per game. From a scoring perspective, both the Leathernecks and Pioneers have similar scoring patterns, making the teams evenly matched.

Western currently has a conference record of 1-4, while Denver has a record of 2-4. Both teams will be hungry for another conference win during this upcoming match.

Western is currently ranked eighth in the Summit League while Denver is ranked sixth, making Thursday’s contest a battle for the Leathernecks to inch higher up into a better conference position.

Western’s main goal this season was to improve from their previous season. The Leathernecks finished off their previous season in seventh place, meaning that they still have some work to do in order to be successful in achieving their goal.

Considering how early it is in their season, the Leathernecks still have room to move up the ranks of the Summit League.

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