MACOMB – Western Illinois men's basketball loss to UT Martin for the third time in the Leathernecks history on Wednesday (Nov 13). Now UT Martin remains undefeated against Western as the final score of the game was 98-91.
During the opening half, UT Martin came out of the gates strong having Western trail behind 35-24 at the 7:40-mark. That all changed once the Leathernecks went on a 10-2 run to bridge the gap between the score. By the end of the first half Western went up 46-43 to give them the advantage going into the second half.
The Leathernecks came out in the second half prepared as their high powered offense could not be stopped. Western had 70-55 advantage with 13:12 left on the clock but couldn't sustain as the Skyhawks turned their defensive pressure on.
As the Skyhawks turned their pressure up it allowed their offense to embark on a 12-0 run to close the distance. As a result, the Leathernecks lost their lead as the Skyhawks had His run was eight points from Derek Hawthorne to help tie the score at 82-82 with 5:29 remaining. Western could never regain the lead back from the Skyhawks because their momentum was completely shattered.
Freshman Ben Pyle and Senior James Claar recorded career-highs with 18 and 13 points, followed by Zion Young with 15 points. Nice game for Zion Young after coming from a career night against Stetson on Saturday. Three games into the season and the Leathernecks are still looking for their first win of the season. Western will return to Western Hall next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. to play Northern Illinois.