Home court advantage not enough for the Leathernecks

Dayne McElwee, Sports Editor

Macomb, Ill.- The Western Illinois Leathernecks men’s basketball team hosted the Roos of Kansas city in the 45th all-time matchup between the two Summit League teams. The Roos came out clicking on all cylinders and never looked back. Western wasn’t able to mount any sort of comeback as they were defeated 83-75.

 

Kansas City controlled the first 10 minutes of the half. They opened the game on a 6-0 run and played suffocating defense, not allowing the Leathernecks to get comfortable. Kansas City would control the first half as they would go into halftime with a comfortable 17 point lead.

 

In the second half, you could sense a little bit of life from WIU as they were able to cut it to single digits on multiple occasions, but were never able to make it a one-possession game. With 2:50 left WIU cut it to five after an and-one from Colton Sandage, but Kansas City responded much like they have all game and would ultimately go on to win 83-75.

 

The main catalyst for the Roos was Senior Guard Evan Gilyard. Gilyard was able to make his mark on the game as he scored 33 points while making six three-pointers. Marvin Nesbitt and Caden Boser were the only other Roos who were in double digits in scoring as they both chipped in.

 

For the Leathernecks they were able to distribute the scoring around as four of the five starters scored in double digits. Will Carius led all scoring for WIU with 18 points. The Leathernecks were able to get to the rim and get fouled all night as they shot a very efficient 18-19 from the free-throw line. 

 

After the game assistant head coach Chad Boudreau said, “Every game is big. You want momentum in February and you want to build momentum going into the conference tournament in a league like this.”

 

WIU will have eight more Summit League games. Next, they will travel to Tulsa Oklahoma to face off against Oral Robers on Thursday (Feb 3).