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Hailey Leinart, Knox College Women’s Basketball
GALESBURG, Illinois—It’s comeback season at Knox College as the Prairie Fire women’s basketball team pulled off a comeback win against Illinois College after the men’s team had completed the same task earlier in the evening. Knox (14-5, 9-2 MWC) found themselves down 15 going into halftime after scoring a mere 3-points in the second quarter. A defensive shutdown and a scoring frenzy in the 4th quarter made for an exciting come-from-behind win for the Fire.
Karlie Thorn, Kyra Huffman and Hailey Leinart led the charge during the comeback. Thorn and Huffman each finished with 10 points and Huffman grabbed eight rebounds. All 10 of Huffman’s points also came in the second half. Hailey Leinart was the scoring specialist on the night, scoring 12 of her 15 points in the second half and contributing heavily to a 24-point 4th quarter to secure the victory. The Fire held IC to just 15 points in the second half and an energetic offense helped fuel the win.
Knox remains tied with Cornell in the Midwest Conference standings. However, the Prairie Fire host the Rams on February 3 in a battle for the #2 spot in the MWC. Knox will celebrate senior day and host the Play for the Cure game as well.
Jonathan Damota, Knox College Men’s Basketball
GALESBURG, Ilinois – The Prairie Fire men’s basketball team picked up a huge comeback win at home over Illinois College. Knox (5-15, 3-10 MWC) found themselves down by double digits at halftime, but chipped away at the Blueboys’ lead the entire second half. Jonathan Damota had a victory-worthy game on the scoring side and the entire team locked down on defense in the second half to secure the victory.
Damota finished with a total of 23 points along with five assists and six6 rebounds to lead the team in all three categories. Deryk Ruple also finished with 11 points and Eric Thompson scored 11 of his own off the bench. Defensively the Fire held the Blueboys to a touch under 37% shooting in the second half making it difficult for them to score. The Fire also out-rebounded IC 22-15 and held them to just six points for nearly the last nine minutes of the game.
The Fire have now won two of their last three games and will be back in action for Senior Day against Cornell College on February 3rd in Memorial Gymnasium.