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Emily Clemens, WIU Women’s Basketball
MACOMB, Ill. – Women’s basketball action inside Western Hall sent fans into a craze Wednesday night as the Leathernecks (15-6, 5-2 Summit League) and Denver (12-10, 3-4) combined for 36 three-pointers.
The decision not only resulted in a Leatherneck victory, 118-93, but it also broke an NCAA single-game record for three-pointers. Sacramento State and Montana State previously set the mark at 34 on Feb. 6, 2016. The contest saw SSU hit 25 treys while Montana State recorded nine; Wednesday’s conference tilt was more evenly matched between WIU and the Pioneers as both sides tabbed 18 each.
Denver went 18-for-42 from beyond the arc and WIU finished 18-for-30.
“As a fan, and as a person who loves basketball, that was a great game,” said head coach JD Gravina. “Offensively, we couldn’t have played better. I am proud of the way we bounced back from our poor offensive effort at South Dakota State and really played well. For us, we were getting a lot of threes but we were also scoring around the basket quite a bit and getting to the free throw line. I think that ended up being the difference in the game. They [Denver] were dependent on hitting the from outside, which they did.”
The final score marked the third time this season the Leathernecks scored 100-plus points. It was also a career night for several Leathernecks as Emily Clemons finished one rebound shy of a triple-double with a career-high 39 points and tied her career high of 13 assists for the second time.
Swishing a team-high seven treys (7-for-9), Morgan Blumer tied her career and a program-best along with 28 points, while Taylor Higginbotham rounded out the 20-plus club with 26 points.
Denver scored the first point of the game on a split trip at the free-throw line, before allowing a 9-2 run whereOlivia Braun and Blumer connected for a trio of drained shots from beyond the arc. The game stalled at 13-all with 5:38 remaining in the opening quarter and briefly fell in favor of the Pioneers, 16-15, for the visitor’s final lead of the game.
The Leathernecks concluded the quarter up, 37-26, and kept their foot on the gas until the final horn. Denver’s closest margin of the second half was seven points, 77-70, at the 6:01 mark of the third quarter.
Western continues its homestand Saturday (Jan. 27), playing host to North Dakota State at 4:30 p.m. The game also marks the annual Think Pink promotion, where all proceeds go to Linda’s Fund for breast cancer awareness.