Necks drop rematch against Mastodons

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Issac Johnson squeeses past a defender on his way to the paint.

Christopher Bean, Courier Staff

FORT WAYNE, IND.-Western Illinois University was on the road Wednesday night visiting the Mastodons of Fort Wayne, and it didn’t go as planned.

The Leathernecks trailed the whole game, losing 90-74. They gave up 45 points in each half on 52.4 percent shooting from the Mastodons. Although the Leathernecks made it a competitive second half, only getting outscored by two, the 14 point lead at half made it too much for Western to come back from.

One of the highlights for the Leathernecks was C. J. Duff, Kobe Webster and Issac Johnson scoring double figures. Johnson recorded his career high in his first year playing at the collegiate level. He shot 7-13 from the field, and was also the only Western player who shot over 50 percent.

Western went on a 9-0 run to cut the sixteen-point deficit to seven in the middle of the second half. They only trailed 60-53 with 11:57 to play, but never got closer than that, as the Mastodons pulled away.

Fort Wayne was in control since the tip-off. They were able to get whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. They had five players in double figures: Jordon King with 10, Xzavier Taylor with 11, John Konchar with 19, Bryson Scott with 19 and Kason Harrell with 20. Six players shot 50 percent or better from the field. Konchar proved in the second game against Western why he’s one of the most valuable players in the Summit League. He’d also add to the game 19 points, along with 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 blocks.

The main struggle for Western was their inability to move the ball around. They only had seven assists on 27 made shots. Webster, Johnson, and Duff were the only three starters that recorded an assist with just one apiece. Forward Jalen Morgan, had three assists on Wednesday night, but only averages 0.4 a game this season.

This was the eighth double-digit loss in conference play, making it eight out of nine where they have lost by 11 or more points.

They are now two games under .500 with an 11-13 record. This is the lowest the have fallen under the .500 mark this season.

Fort Wayne snapped their two game losing streak. They are now 12-1 at home this year. They improved their overall record to 17-12 and 6-6 in the Summit League, staying at third. They have two more games in the regular season that will determine if they’ll hold onto that spot.

With three games left for the Leathernecks, they’ll be traveling to South Dakota State this Saturday to play the top team in the Summit League. This will be their last opportunity to win their first and only road game this year. There is no better way than to get that win by upsetting the Jackrabbits of SDSU.

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