(Photo of WIU's Emily Clemens Courtesy of WIU Athletic Communications)
The Western Illinois Women's Basketball team took down Fort Wayne 77-51 at Western Hall last night. With the win the 22-6 (12-3 Summit League) Leathernecks have clinched at least a share of the league's regular season title. This was also the 12th regular season home victory, which ties program marks set in 2002-03 and 2004-05.
The Leathernecks led in this one for all but 1:39 of gametime. That being said, the 5-23 Mastadons hung around until the 4th quarter, with the game remaining in single digits until that point. A 24-6 advantage in the 4th quarter for Western cemented this one, with the stingy WIU defense limiting Fort Wayne to 37.9% from the field and a putrid 13.3% from three point range.
Emily Clemens made another strong claim for Summit League Player of the Year honors, dropping 25 points and dishing out 12 assists in this one. Morgan Blumer also put together a strong performance with 18 points (3-4 3FG) and 7 rebounds. Olivia Braun finished with 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 blocks.
At 12-3 in the Summit League, Western sits one game in front of South Dakota, IUPUI, and South Dakota State. With the Leathernecks playing the Coyotes of South Dakota at Western Hall Saturday afternoon, sole possession of the top spot in the league will be on the line. IUPUI and South Dakota State still have to play the teams with the worst and second to worst records in the Summit League respectively, so a 4-team tie could be in place should Western not get the win Saturday.
Tip off from Western Hall is set for 4:30 Saturday, with a pregame ceremony honoring seniors Mallory Boyle and Jasmine Patrick taking place prior. Coverage begins at 4:15 on 104.1 FM and the Leatherneck Sports Network.