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Date Posted: 10:58:12 11/09/03 Sun
Author: Starter
Subject: Basketball wins 83-80 in first exhibition game

Menís Basketball Opens Exhibition Play with 83-80 win over St. Louis Eagles


MACOMB, Ill.- The Western Illinois University menís basketball team opened the Derek Thomas era with an 83-80 exhibition win over the St. Louis Eagles behind 27 points from Leatherneck newcomer Doyle Cole.

After taking a 43-27 lead at the half, Western was out-scored 10-2 within the first three minutes of the second half before Anthony Lenoir broke the Leatherneckís scoring drought with a lay-up at the 17:08 mark.

The Eagles came within one of Western, 45-44, when J.D. Summers sparked a 13-4 Western Illinois run that included three three-pointers and two field goals to take the largest lead of the half since the 18:49 mark. St. Louis took advantage of some Western Illinois turnovers to cut the lead back down to three on a Milan Pepper three pointer with 8:04 on the clock. However, Archie kept Western in the game with a lay-up and two free throws and freshman T.J. Gray knocked in a three to redeem the 10-point cushion.

Western Illinois kept a comfortable lead up until the 00:48 mark as St. Louis cut the it down to five, 76-71, on a J.P Mitchom fast break lay-up. Two Eagle fouls and four-straight free throws by Cole kept the Leathernecks at a four point advantage just before Anthony Love sunk a three for St. Louis with five seconds left in the game. A Mitchom foul sent Gray to line to seal the 83-80 win for Western.

Western Illinois was out-shot from the field 47.8 percent to 38.0 percent and out-rebounded 46-41. St. Louis recorded five blocked shots.

Cole led Western shooting 47 percent (8-for-17) from the field, 56 percent (5-for-9) from the three-point line and went 6-for-6 from the free throw line in his 27 point effort. Bobby Carter stepped up with 18 points and four rebounds and J.D. Summers led the Leathernecks with 11 rebounds on top of his eight points.

Matt Baniak led the Eagles with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Matt Laur contributed with 17 points and 10 boards.

Western Illinois will compete in one more exhibition game, November 11 at 7:00 p.m. in Western Hall against the Spotlight Jammers before opening the season on the road at the Guardians Classic in Springfield, Mo. on November 17.

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