Necks drop another conference matchup


File Photo

Brandon Gilbeck gets past a defender in the post.

Becca Langys

BROOKINGS, S.D.- The Western Illinois men’s basketball team took on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits this past Saturday. The Leathernecks took their 10th conference loss of the season, putting them in last place in The Summit League as they draw near the end of the 2017-2018 season.

The Jackrabbits started the game off strong, being the first team to put points on the board during this Saturday matchup.

Western quickly began putting points on the board as well, but always ended up just below the threshold of passing up the Jackrabbits during the first part of this matchup. Sophomore guard C.J. Duff was the first Leatherneck to put points on the board for Western.

Following Duff’s successful shot, freshman guard Isaac Johnson who put four more points on the board for the Leathernecks, putting them just two points behind the Jackrabbits.

As the first half of this game progressed, the Leathernecks began to fall behind at a greater velocity than before, allowing the Jackrabbits to increase their lead as the time wound down. South Dakota State ended the first half of this matchup with a 38-23 lead over the Leathernecks, putting Western in a bad position to start the second half of the game.

During the first half of the matchup, the Leathernecks were led offensively by Duff who earned a total of seven points for the Leathernecks. Closely following Duff was Johnson and junior guard Delo Bruster, who earned five points for the Leathernecks.

From a defensive perspective, junior center Brandon Gilbeck earned one block during the first half of this game.

As the second half of this matchup began, the Leathernecks had a hefty point-deficit in which they needed to step up their game in order to overcome.

Western started off the second half of this matchup with a successful three-point shot from Johnson. Johnson’s shot was not enough to spark a Leatherneck rally, however. South Dakota State quickly picked up the pace and continued to score on Western. They ran with their previous lead, making it difficult for the Leathernecks to make a comeback.

As the second half progressed, the Leathernecks did not lose steam and continued to score at a steady rate. Unfortunately, the Leathernecks did not give up hope; they still continued to fall behind even further, past the point of being able to take the lead again. The game ended with a final score of 62-82.

The Leathernecks now have an overall record of 11-14, and a conference record of 2-10.

Leading the Leathernecks offensively during the second half of this game was Johnson who earned 15 points. Following Johnson was senior guard/forward Dalan Ancrum who earned six total points for the Western.

Gilbeck earned yet another block for the Leathernecks during the second half of this matchup, making him the defensive leader for Western.

The Leathernecks only have two more conference games left for their 2017-2018 season. As the standings show, Western will most likely not achieve their overall goal of getting more wins and earning a higher ranking in The Summit League than they did in previous years.

The Leathernecks will take on the North Dakota State Bison this Thursday in Western Hall at 7:00 p.m.

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