Western Illinois Men's Basketball: Leathernecks' Comeback Falls Short In Denver

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Kobe Webster, WIU Men’s Basketball

DENVER – Despite Kobe Webster‘s 22 second-half points, the Western Illinois Leathernecks came up short Thursday night (Jan. 25) against Denver 70-58 in a league contest.

“We hang our hat on our defense and I thought our defense picked up intensity. Give Chuck Gavin credit, he gave us a lift and gave us a spark,” said head coachBilly Wright.

Denver jumped out to a quick 17-7 lead in the first seven minutes of the contest over the Leathernecks but Isaac Johnson answered with a scoop-and-score to stop the Pioneer run.

Johnson and C.J. Duff led the Purple and Gold in scoring in the first half with each player netting eight points. Delo Bruster added four for the Leathernecks asCharles Gavin, the Denver native, and Brandon Gilbeck each added a deuce.

C.J. Duff pulled the Leathernecks within two points with a 3-pointer on the wing with 2:48 to go in the first half.

The WIU defense put pressure on the Pioneers in the half, as the Leathernecks forced eight turnovers.

To open the second half, Johnson hit two free throws and a jumper on the wing to cut the Pioneer lead to two with 18:20 to play.

Webster hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Leathernecks their first lead with 10:25 to play. Webster caught fire in the half, netting 11 points in a two-minute span, and 16 points in the first 10 minutes of the half.

After a Pioneer 3-pointer with 6:53 remaining, Lynrick Moxey drove baseline and completed the left-handed layup to cut the lead to one point. The Pioneers then hit another trifecta with 4:39 to play to push their lead to six points.

The Leathernecks were unable to complete the comeback and are back in action on Saturday (Jan. 27) in Fargo, N.D. against North Dakota State.

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