GAME NOTES: In a BracketBuster matchup on Saturday night the Western Illinois
Leathernecks will play host to the Cleveland State Vikings at Western Hall.
The Vikings most recently suffered a 50-41 loss to Wright State. It was the
fourth loss in the last five games for Cleveland State. This is the first of a
two-game road swing to end the regular season for the Vikings, who are 13-16
overall an just 5-10 in Horizon League action.
The Leathernecks are coming off a 64-55 loss at South Dakota State. The loss
ended a three-game win streak for Western Illinois, which fell to 19-6 overall
and 11-3 in the Summit League. This is the first of a three-game homestand to
finish out the regular season for WIU.
While Western Illinois leads the all-time series 17-7, Cleveland State took
the last meeting 85-68 nearly 20 years ago in 1994.
In the loss to Wright State, Charlie Lee led the Vikings with 12 points but
shot just 4-of-15 from the field and 2-of-9 from 3-point range. Devon Long
added 10 points and was the only other Cleveland State player to score in
double figures. Together the team shot a very poor 26.2 percent from the floor
and hit on just 4-of-22 shots from beyond the arc. Bryn Forbes is the Vikings'
top scorer this season with 12.4 ppg, while Lee adds 11.2 ppg. They are the
only two players to average in double-figure scoring but on defense is where
the team struggles most, allowing opponents to shoot over 45.0 percent from
the field and score nearly 70.0 ppg
Western Illinois' inability to make its free throws is what cost the team the
game against SDSU. The Leathernecks hit on just 3-of-11 attempts from the line
and also allowed SDSU to make nine 3-pointers. Ceola Clark played well in the
loss, scoring 20 points and making good on four shots from beyond the arc.
Adam Link added 12 points and was the only other WIU player to score in double
figures. Terell Parks is shooting 56.5 percent from the field, leading the
team in scoring at 12.7 ppg. Clark is second in scoring with 11.8 ppg and
oddly shoots better from 3-point range, than from the field overall. The
Leathernecks shoot just 64.8 percent from the free-throw line but hit on 47.0
percent of their shots from the field, and just under 40.0 percent from 3-
point range. The Leathernecks thrive on the defensive end, holding opponents
under 40.0 percent from the field and just 52.2 ppg, ranking second nationally
in scoring defense.
The lock-down defense of WIU will be too much for CSU. The Leathernecks will
be able to prevent the Vikings from getting into rhthym and earn a convincing
win at home where they have won 10 of 11 games played.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Illinois 64, Cleveland State 49
02/23 10:39:12 ET
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