Necks hope to sweep Golden Eagles

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Kobe Webster eyes the defense as he dribbles up court.

David Koier, Courier Staff

MACOMB, Ill. – The Western Illinois Leatherneck men’s basketball team looks to improve their record this Saturday afternoon against the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. Western, who is in last place in the Summit League with a 1-6 record in conference play, has been on a 3-game losing streak scoring their last win on Jan. 17, against the Fort Wayne Mastodons. Oral Roberts, who are also low in the conference totem pole, have a 3-4 conference record, and are looking to continue their two-game winning streak against non-conference opponents.

The Leathernecks came up short in the last meeting with Oral Roberts losing by a score of 81-66 in favor of the Golden Eagles. Senior small forward Dalan Ancrum led the Leathernecks in points scored that game with 25 points accompanied by one rebound and two assists. Leading Oral Roberts in the previous matchup was sophomore forward Emmanuel Nzekwesi, who scored 17 points going 8-18 from the field with one three pointer.

The Purple and Gold are leading both offensively and defensively because of junior center Brandon Gilbeck, who tops the Summit League in shooting from the field with 67.1 percent. Gilbeck also boasts 244 points, 156 rebounds, and 56 blocks this season leading the league in the latter statistic. Gilbeck set a program record in the previous matchup against Oral Roberts with his 150th career block.

Another shining star for the Purple and Gold from an offensive standpoint was freshman point guard Kobe Webster. The Indianapolis native has been a dominant force for the Leatherneck squad leading the team in points scored with 16.6 per game. Webster leads the team in total points as well with 332 points putting him 9th in total points scored for the Summit League standings. Following Webster in points scored for the Leathernecks is Ancrum with 281, and Gilbeck with 244 of his own.

Webster places 5th in the Summit League with 80 total assists for the season. Averaging four assists per game, Webster likes to show that not only can he score, but he can also share the love with his teammates. Following Webster is Ancrum with 46 assists (2.3 per game) and junior guard Delo Bruster with 35 (1.8 per game).

Leading Oral Roberts in scoring is Nzekwesi, with 320 points on the season just trailing Webster. Following behind Nzekwesi is senior center Albert Owens with 274, and redshirt sophomore forward Javan White with 244.

Oral Roberts can boast that they have the Summit League leader in assists on their squad in the form of sophomore guard Sam Kearns who claims the Summit League assist crown with 107.

White and Nzekwesi are two of the best rebounders in the Summit League, each of them appearing in the top five for the statistic. White takes the number two spot with 210, also appearing in the same position for rebounds per game withis Nzekwesi 8.8. He has control of the number four spot with a total of 176 rebounds in the season. Nzekwesi also appears in the number five spot in the Summit League for rebounds per game with 7.3.

The Leathernecks face off against the Golden Eagles this Saturday at 2 p.m. at Western Hall.

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