Hoosiers Pull Away From Western Illinois in Season Opener

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The Western Illinois men’s basketball team took to the big stages in its season opener and fell 98-65 to the Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday (Nov. 5) night in front of 17,222 packed inside Assembly Hall. 

“I thought that our players showed tremendous fight,” head coach Billy Wright said. “We competed for the first eight to 12 minutes and then had some uncharacteristic turnovers as well as shot selections. I’m proud of their effort and commitment to play the right way on both ends of the floor.” 

C.J. Duff kicked off the scoring of the 2019 season on a corner three to give the Leathernecks a 3-2 lead at 18:16. The first bucket marked the 133 straight games Western has made a basket behind the arc. He later added another bucket from deep to become 47th all-time in scoring passing Daryl Reed (1982-86) to begin a seven-point run. 

Freshman Jaeden King checked into the game and made his name known in front of the Cream and Crimson as he drilled a three for his collegiate basket to regain a 15-12 lead in the first half.  

Indiana responded and began an 18-point run that was stopped by James Claar’s offensive board and successful and-one (6:10). 

Kobe Webster returned to his home state and gave the fans at Assembly Hall a show. The guard banked in half-court prayer before the half-time buzzer went off en route to an 18 point performance. The Indianapolis native needs only 10 more points to become the 23rd player in program history to reach the 1,000 marks. 

The Hoosiers closed the first half shooting 62.5 percent from the field, with 44.4 percent behind the arc to hold a 46-25 advantage. IU continued to not miss a beat on the offensive side of the ball into the second half, answering each Leatherneck basket. 

Western Illinois returns to their own hall for the home opener against Stetson on Saturday (Nov. 9) at 7 p.m. 

Notes 

Zion Young (8-8) led the Leathernecks to finish 14-15 from the free-throw line 
Jack HalleeJaeden KingKyle Arrington, and Roderick Smith all made their Leatherneck debuts tonight 
-With the victory, Indiana owns a 4-0 overall record versus Western Illinois. 

-WIU is now 5-33 lifetime against Big 10 opponents  

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