Western Earns Eighth Straight Victory, Improves to 11-3 Overall
Western Illinois defeats Savannah State 39-35 Wednesday evening (Jan. 2) inside Western Hall.
MACOMB, Ill. - The Fighting Leathernecks trailed Savannah State 23-12 at halftime, but outscored the Tigers 27-12 in the second half, and held SSU to five points in the final 12 minutes of play to pick up their eighth straight win and improve to 11-3 on the season.
The 11-3 start is Western's best start since the 1979-80 season, and its eight consecutive victories is the most since the 1997-98 Leathernecks won nine straight.
Savannah State (5-8) pressured the Leathernecks throughout the first half, forcing nine Western turnovers while the Leathernecks shot just 33% from the field. Western came out hot early in the second and played defense as they crawled their way back to even things 33-33 with two minutes to play.
An Adam Link free throw gave the Leathernecks their first lead of the game with just over a minute to play, and Western was able to hold off the Tigers until the final buzzer sounded.
Link was the only Leatherneck to score double figures, recording 10 points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field, and going 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
Terell Parks tallied nine points in the win to go along with his eight rebounds and career-high seven blocks.
Don McAvoy III and Jack Houpt each finished with six points.
Western ended up shooting 44.4% from the field, while the Tigers shot just 32.6% from the floor.
The Leathernecks entered the game ranked fifth in the country in personal fouls (13.1 per game), and committed 16 less fouls than Savannah State Wednesday, 24-8.
Khiry White led the Tigers with 10 points.
Western continues Summit League play Saturday evening (Jan. 2) at home against IUPUI. Tip is slated for 7 p.m.