WIU basketball closes in on home schedule

Alex Staab, Courier Staff


If you’ve been busy following both the Western Illinois men’s (5-13, 2-6) and women’s (11-10, 5-3) basketball seasons this year, it may be hard to believe that we’ve already reached the final month of regular season basketball. After this weekend’s series for both teams, only two home dates remain for both teams.

Not only do these become the last couple of chances you can catch the teams in Macomb this season, but it’s also the home stretch in terms of solidifying the final place in The Summit League standings.

As of the deadline, the women’s team is in third, while the men’s team is in eighth. The women took on second-place South Dakota State on Thursday and will play a solid North Dakota State team on Saturday. South Dakota State is (22- 2) in Summit League play between both this season and last, with both losses being a road game against No. 21 South Dakota.

Fans may recall that the North Dakota State game in Fargo awhile back was a classic, with Sam Pryor coming up clutch to both force overtime and eventually ice the game in double overtime. Take what you will from that game, as the Bison have struggled away from the Scheels Center, going (1-7) in true road games. That lone road win came at New Hampshire back on Dec. 1, 67-61.

The men’s team may be (5-13) as of deadline, but four of those five wins have come inside Western Hall. They faced a North Dakota State team that had beaten them by 20 earlier in the season. The Bison men, like their women’s team, also struggle away from home. The NDSU men are (9-1) inside the Scheels Center, but (4-5) in true road games.

A tough matchup looms for the men’s team on Saturday, as they’ll take on South Dakota State, who beat them by 35 in Brookings on Jan. 4. Interestingly enough, the SDSU men have the same problem as the NDSU men: they seemingly can’t piece together true road wins. They currently have a spotless (12- 0) home record but are a mere (4-8) on the road.

It will be interesting to see how this weekend turns out, but there aren’t many opportunities left after that, so make sure to come out and see the men’s and women’s basketball teams before the regular season is through