Leathernecks Break Over 100 Points in Saturday Night Win

<figcaption>Ahmed Benzerguine/iStock</figcaption>
Ahmed Benzerguine/iStock

MACOMB, Ill. – Fans in Western Hall witnessed a scoring display by Western Illinois women’s basketball (3-1, 0-0) on Saturday evening (Nov. 20), as the team defeated Bellarmine (0-3, 0-0) in a dominant 105-82 home victory.

The last time Western scored over 100 points was this past winter versus Omaha (Feb. 6, 2021). Ironically, that contest ended as a 105-point total for the Leathernecks as well.

Saturday also featured five WIU players ending in double-digit scoring figures, led by Jada Thorpe’s career-high 21 points on 54% shooting. Again, this same feat happened during the 2020-21 season (versus Denver on Feb. 13, 2021). On the rebounding end, the Leathernecks finished with 50 team rebounds. Coincidentally, it was the highest rebounding tally since the program played at Bellarmine for the first-ever meeting on Dec. 19, 2020.

A layup scored by Danni Nichols off a fastbreak turnover saw Western leading 14-7 in the first period. Alissa Dins checked to provide an immediate impact, and Thorpe kept the defense on its heels with her playmaking skills, stretching the lead to 23-11 at the quarter’s 3:09 mark. Some missed shots and turnovers hurt WIU, as Bellarmine cut into the lead, down 23-17. Still, additional points from Nichols and Thorpe had their squad in front, 30-17, by the time the first ten minutes had wound down.

Finishes around the rim continued to be WIU’s bread and butter during the second quarter. Free throws by Mallory McDermott put the score at 40-25 around the clock’s midway point. A mix of starters and reserves gave WIU a spark, as the team went up big at halftime, 54-34 after Elizabeth Lutz pounded her way to the basket for an under-handed finish before time expired. Shooting 50% from the floor as a whole, Western already had three scorers plug in 10 or more points before halftime.

Bellarmine woke up a bit early in the third — piling a 10-2 start. Following a timeout, McDermott helped WIU get back into a flow by scoring four quick points. Still leading by over 20, Kennedy Flanagan got into the open floor for an easy basket, and Lutz scored a triple to have her Leathernecks ahead 73-53 at the end of three.

On both ends, Evan Zars went to work right away in the fourth quarter. A high layup by the forward increased the advantage to 81-55, and it was smooth sailing for Western for the final 7.5 minutes. Dins, McDermott, and Anna Deets especially stood out down the stretch.

As a team, WIU totaled a 52% field goal percentage — its best mark this year so far. Nichols (18), Lutz (16), Zars (16), and McDermott (10) rounded out the high scoring. Lutz and Thorpe both contributed six rebounds and four assists.

Along with Thorpe, it was also a career night for Dins, who finished with nine points and ten rebounds — both single-game bests. She and Zars added two blocks apiece. Deets finished with eight points and three rebounds.

WIU completes its three-game homestand on Tuesday (Nov. 23), when Missouri Baptist arrives for a 6 p.m. matchup.


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