Big Ten Size, Athleticism Too Much for WIU
MACOMB – The Western Illinois men's basketball team made a huge appearance on Tuesday as they played Indiana in front of 17,222 Hoosiers fans for their season opener.
The Indiana Hoosiers are a Big 10 school and they gave the fighting Leathernecks a difficult time as they beat them 98-65. It was a difficult loss for the Leathernecks as they had poor turnovers down the stretch and bad shot selection. The Leathernecks committed 12 turnovers along with shooting 34% from the field and 29% from 3 point range. The Hoosiers overpowered the Leathernecks as they a total of 47 rebounds compared to WIU’s 28. The Hoosiers simply had more firepower than the Leathernecks as they had bigger and more athletic players to increase their chances of winning.
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. They also continued to beat on Western on the offensive side of the ball into the second half, answering each Leatherneck basket. The Hoosiers used their dominant size and inside presence to rack up a large number of second-chance baskets to continue their run.
Kobe Webster returned to his home state and gave the fans a show. Webster hit a spectacular shot off the backboard before the first half ended. He also was the leading scorer for the Leathernecks with 18 points, followed by Zion Young with 12 points. Production was needed from plenty of other sources for WIU to have a chance, but a tough IU defense created a lot of poor shot selection for the Leathernecks.
Western Illinois are now 0-4 against Indiana and are 5-33 all-time against the Big 10, with their last such win coming against Wisconsin in the 2015-16 season opener. The Leathernecks will returns to their own hall for the home opener against Stetson on Saturday (Nov. 9) at 7 p.m