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The Western Illinois men's basketball team will travel to West Lafayette, Ind. to face Purdue in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational Wednesday night.

ON TAP: The historic 2012-13 Western Illinois men’s basketball season has been extended, as the Fighting Leathernecks have accepted their invitation to participate in the 2013 College Basketball Invitational presented by Buick for the second consecutive season, and play at Purdue...The first-round CBI contest will take place Wednesday evening, March 20, with tip-off slated for 6 p.m. in West Lafayette, Indiana.

TICKETS: For tickets, call 800-49-SPORT, or visit PurdueSports.com. Prices are $15 for Reserved and $10 for General Admission (upper arena).

TELEVISION INFORMATION: Once again, AXS TV (formerly HDNet) will serve as the primary television outlet for the CBI. AXS TV, which is owned and was founded by Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban, reaches in excess of 38 million homes. Find out if you get AXS TV HERE.

THE MATCHUP

WHO: Purdue Boilermakers (15-17) vs. Western Illinois Leathernecks (22-8)
WHERE: West Lafayette, Ind. •  Mackey Arena (14,846)
WHEN: Wednesday, March 20 at 6:05 p.m. CST
SERIES HISTORY: Purdue leads Western, 3-0

FOLLOW THE ACTION

Radio/Live Audio:
The Dog (88.3 FM) & Classic 103 (102.7 FM)/Rocky Vision
Talent: Beau Spencer & Aaron Viner

Television:
AXS TV
Talent: Rich Cellini & Darrin Horn

Live Stats:
TheSummitLeague.org

Twitter:
@WIUAthletics
Facebook:
WIU Athletics

COACH MOLINARI ON CBI DRAW: “We are very excited about making it to a postseason tournament for the second consecutive season in the 2013 College Basketball Invitational. We’ve had a great year so far, earning the most wins in our program’s NCAA Division I history and earning a share of the Summit League regular season championship. Our players earned the right to play in a postseason tournament and we believe that we couldn’t have drawn a tougher opponent in any tournament, besides maybe the NCAA tournament, in Purdue. Our young men are extremely excited about the challenge.”

COACH MOLINARI ON PURDUE: “Purdue obviously has a very good program with great tradition under the leadership of its head coach Matt Painter. They are playing very good basketball right now, proven by their win at Wisconsin towards the end of their regular season.”

SERIES HISTORY: The Leathernecks are 0-3 all-time versus Purdue...The first meeting between the two teams came in Western’s season and home opener on December 7, 1939, with the Boilermakers winning 47-24...The Leathernecks played at Purdue in their season opener the following year as well, again on December 7, and lost 65-41...Most recently the two teams faced one another in the 1999-00 season in West Lafayette, Indiana on December 9 when Purdue downed WIU, 83-48.

WHAT’S IN A WESTERN WIN?: A win would mark the 1,225th victory in program history...A win would mark head coach Jim Molinari’s 70th victory at Western, and his 293rd victory all-time as a head coach...A win would be Western’s first-ever over Purdue.

BEST DIVISION I OVERALL RECORD: The 2012-13 Leathernecks currently have 22 wins this season, the most ever by a Western Illinois team in the program’s NCAA Division I era. Besides winning more games than any other team in Western’s NCAA Division I, the Leathernecks also own the best win percentage in program history.
The Division I Top 5 list is below:
1. 22-8 (.733) -    2012-13
T2. 20-8 (.714) -    1994-95
T2. 20-11 (.645) -    1982-83
4. 19-10 (.655)-    1996-97
5. 18-15 (.545)-    2011-12

BEST DIVISION I CONFERENCE RECORD: The Leathernecks finished the 2012-13 season with 13 league wins, tying the most ever earned during a season in Western Illinois’ Division I era, and their win percentage stands alone as the program’s best-ever. Western finished 7-1 at home in conference play, and 6-2 on the road in league action. The Leathernecks kicked-off the season 6-0 in league play.
The Division I Top 5 list is below:
T1. 13-3 (.812) -    2012-13
T1. 13-5 (.722) -    1994-95
3. 12-6 (.667) -    1995-96
4. 11-5 (.688) -    1996-97
4. 11-5 (.688) -    1997-98

INSIDE WESTERN HALL: Western lost only two games at home this season, owners of a 12-2 mark inside Western Hall. The Leathernecks are 7-1 at home in conference games, and 5-1 at home in nonconference action. Western’s .857 win-percentage is tied for the program’s best-ever in games played in Western Hall in the Leathernecks’ Division I history.
The Division I Top 5 list is below:
1. 13-4 (.765) -    1982-83
T2. 12-2 (.857) -    2012-13
T2. 12-2 (.857) -    1994-95
T2. 12-3 (.800) -    1989-90
T2. 12-4 (.667) -    1987-88

AWAY FROM WESTERN HALL: Western is 10-6 this season in games away from Western Hall. The Leathernecks went 6-2 on the road in conference action and 4-4 in nonconference road games.
The Division I Top 5 list is below:
1. 11-6 (.647) -    1996-97
2. 10-6 (.625) -    2012-13
T3. 8-6 (.571) -    1994-95
T3. 8-11 (.421) -    2011-12
T4. 7-7 (.500) -    1982-83
T4. 7-10 (.412) -    1995-96

TEAMS PLAYED IN POSTSEASON: Western Illinois played 11 games this season against teams that will participate in a postseason tournament...The Leathernecks dropped a pair of games to South Dakota State who is in the NCAA Tournament...WIU went 2-1 versus North Dakota State, who is also playing in the CBI...The Leathernecks went 3-3 against teams in the CIT: 1-1 versus Savannah State, 1-1 versus Oakland, 1-0 versus UIC and 0-1 versus Evansville.

2013 HUGH DURHAM AWARD FINALIST: Western Illinois head coach Jim Molinari has been named a finalist for the 2013 Hugh Duram Award. The Hugh Durham Award is given annually to the nation’s top mid-major coach. The award is named in honor of Hugh Durham who had retired at the end of the 2004-05 season. Durham is one of just twelve coaches to have led two different programs to the NCAA Final Four (Florida State in 1972 and Georgia in 1983). He is the only coach among that group to have led both schools to their lone Final Four appearance. The 2013 award will be presented at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Atlanta, site of the men’s NCAA Basketball Championship.

SUMMIT LEAGUE AWARDS: The Fighting Leathernecks had four members of the team earn five awards...Head coach Jim Molinari was tabbed The Summit League’s ‘Coach of the Year’. Terell Parks was named the league’s ‘Defensive Player of the Year’, while also being named to the All-Summit League First Team. Ceola Clark III was also named to the All-Summit League First Team. Adam Link was named to the All-Newcomer Team.

ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM: Western Illinois’ Jack Houpt was one of five Summit League players named to The Summit League All-Academic Team...Houpt, a graduate student with a 3.67 GPA in sport management, has started all 30 games for the Leathernecks this season and averages 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

MORE RECOGNITION: Head coach Jim Molinari was tabbed The Summit League’s ‘Coach of the Year’ by CollegeInsider.com and College Sports Madness. Ceola Clark III and Terell Parks were also named to College Sports Madess’ All-Summit League First Team, while Adam Link was tabbed All-Summit League Third Team.

WEEKLY AWARDS: Senior Ceola Clark III was named The Summit League ‘Player of the Week’ twice this season (Dec. 3 & March 4), and Terell Parks earned the honor once (Jan. 7), while also being named the league’s Male ‘Athete of the Month’ (December). Clark was also tabbed College Sports Madness Mid-Major ‘Player of the Week’ (Dec. 3).

 

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