Leathernecks miss 25 of 32 shots in first half, lose first meeting with OVC leader Morehead State

Western Illinois' Drew Cisse, left, tries to make a move around Morehead State's Dieonte Miles during Saturday afternoon's men's college basketball game in Morehead, Ky. Cisse finished with 14 rebounds in Saturday's loss. | Photo courtesy of Western Illinois University

MOREHEAD, KY. — A slow start at the offensive end was too much to overcome for the Western Illinois men as they split their road trip this week, falling on Saturday at Morehead State 64-50. The game between the Leathernecks (13-8, 6-2) and Eagles (16-5, 7-1) was a matchup of the top two teams in…

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College notebook: Former QU assistant coach guiding nation’s No. 1-ranked NCAA D-II team

Minnesota State-Moorhead coach Tim Bergstraser, a former Quincy University assistant coach, has the Dragons at 14-0 and atop the NCAA Division II national poll. | Photo courtesy Minnesota State-Moorhead

QUINCY — The new No. 1-ranked men’s basketball team in NCAA Division II is being led by a former Quincy University assistant coach. Minnesota State-Moorhead moved to the top on the National Basketball Coaches Association poll this week with a 14-0 record, displacing reigning D-II national champion Nova Southeastern after the Sharks had their 62-game…

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WIU tabs EIU offensive coordinator Joe Davis to be next head football coach

Joe Davis, who spent the previous two seasons as offensive coordinator at Eastern Illinois University, has been named the new head football coach at Western Illinois University. | Photo courtesy EIU Athletics

MACOMB, Ill. — Joe Davis’ task is to bring gridiron success from east to west. The Eastern Illinois University offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, fresh off an eight-win season in Charleston, Ill., was named Sunday as the new head football coach at Western Illinois University. “Joe clearly met the expectations that we have for our…

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Schuck on a Truck: WIU’s Gravina discusses success on hardwood, Christmas holiday

MACOMB, Ill. — The Western Illinois University women’s basketball team is rolling. The Leathernecks have won seven consecutive games heading into Sunday’s matchup at Missouri-Kansas City. An experienced corps of players who understand their role and the emergence of a high-scoring freshman have been the right combination for success. WIU coach JD Gravina joined Muddy…

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Gravina reaches coaching milestone as Leathernecks continue strong start to season

Western Illinois University women's basketball coach JD Gravina won the 300th game of his coaching career with Tuesday night's 86-72 victory over Chicago State in Macomb, Ill. | Photo courtesy WIU athletics

MACOMB, Ill. — JD Gravina’s career victory total is at 300 and counting. A strong start to the season by the Western Illinois University women’s basketball team helped the former Quincy University coach reach his milestone moment. Tuesday night’s 86-72 victory over Chicago State at Western Hall featured Anna Deets scoring seven of the Leathernecks’…

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WIU’s Massner will get chance to Heat up during NBA Summer League

Western Illinois University shooting guard Trenton Massner, left, has signed an undrafted free-agent contract with the Miami Heat and will suit up in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, beginning July 7. | Photo courtesy WIU athletics

MACOMB, Ill. — Trenton Massner’s history-making efforts as a senior on the Western Illinois University men’s basketball team were noticed far beyond the Summit League borders. Coaches with the Miami Heat liked what they saw. Massner, the 6-foot-2 shooting guard from Wapello, Iowa, inked a free-agent deal with the Heat after going undrafted in last…

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Boudreau, WIU prove compatible, making his promotion to men’s basketball coach easy move

Western Illinois University athletic director Paul Bubb, left, hands new men's basketball coach Chad Boundreau a jersey during his introductory press conference Thursday in Macomb, Ill. | Photo courtesy WIU athletics

MACOMB, Ill. — Western Illinois University found its perfect match, so there was no reason to waste any time making it official. Six days after naming Chad Boudreau as the interim men’s basketball coach in the wake of Rob Jeter’s sudden departure to take over at Southern Utah, WIU athletic director Paul Bubb removed the…

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Boudreau named WIU interim basketball coach with Jeter leaving for Southern Utah

Chad Boudreau will be the Western Illinois University men's basketball program's interim head coach after Rob Jeter accepted an offer to take over at Southern Utah. | Photo courtesy WIU athletics

MACOMB, Ill. — Chad Boudreau is getting the chance to prove he deserves an NCAA Division I head coaching position with a live audition. After news broke Friday that Western Illinois University coach Rob Jeter was finalizing a deal to take over at Southern Utah, Leathernecks athletic director Paul Bubb named Boudreau as the interim…

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Seizing opportunity gives WIU product chance to help Chiefs win another Lombardi Trophy

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Khalen Saunders, a Western Illinois University product, will play in his second Super Bowl this Sunday when the Chiefs face the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. | Photo courtesy WIU Athletics

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An opportunity is all Khalen Saunders ever needed. Western Illinois University provided one. So have the Kansas City Chiefs. Because of those, Saunders is living out a dream yet again this week as he prepares to play in Super Bowl LVII on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. It is the 6-foot,…

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WIU to host ADFPF powerlifting national championship

MACOMB, Ill. — Macomb will be the host of the American Drug Free Powerlifting Federation (ADFPF) Single Event National Championships beginning at 9 a.m. March 4 in Brophy Hall on the campus of Western Illinois University. Macomb won the bid to host the 2020 meet but COVID-19 events forced the cancelation of the championship. Winning…

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Massner sets WIU single-game scoring record with 46 points in Summit League victory

Western Illinois University guard Trenton Massner scored a single-game school-record 46 points Monday night against North Dakota at Western Hall in Macomb, Ill. | Photo courtesy WIU Athletics

MACOMB, Ill. — Trenton Massner felt he was due for a game like this. “I haven’t been making a shot all year,” Massner said. “It’s like if I was making my shot all year, I’d have four or five of those.” This was the one that put him in the record book. Massner scored a…

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JWCC Prairie State Profile: Macomb’s Ladd finds perfect college fit in own backyard

Macomb linebacker Ethan Ladd, left, is staying home for college, having signed with Western Illinois University. | Matt Schuckman photo

MACOMB, Ill. — Navigating his way home from wrestling practice Thursday morning wasn’t too treacherous, but Ethan Ladd realized more snow and blizzard-like conditions were coming. “I’m not a big winter guy,” the Macomb senior said. “I’m not going to lie. I hate snow.” But what if the Western Illinois University football team ended up…

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The Rundown: Solid debut for Hannibal girls, Pittsfield boys win opener, WIU women earn first victory

Hannibal girls basketball coach Shawn Gaines talks to the Pirates during a timeout in Monday's season opener against Bowling Green at Korf Gym in Hannibal, Mo. | Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

QUINCY — Kicking off Thanksgiving week with a flurry of activity as the Illinois boys basketball season got underway Monday night and the Missouri teams joined in the fun. Oh, college basketball season is in full swing, too. Here are some of Monday’s highlights … • The Hannibal girls basketball team won Shawn Gaines’ debut…

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Leathernecks open season with second-half rally, down-to-the-wire victory over Redbirds

Western Illinois University guard Trenton Massner, right, led the Leathernecks to a 71-68 victory over Illinois State University in Monday's season opener at Redbird Arena in Normal, Ill. | Photo courtesy WIU athletics

NORMAL, Ill. — Down, but never out. That’s a mantra that could carry the Western Illinois University men’s basketball team a long way. It lifted the Leathernecks to a season-opening victory Monday night. Trailing by as many as 13 points early in the second half, WIU went on a 16-2 run to get back in…

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Leathernecks’ Massner earns preseason first-team All-Summit League recognition

Western Illinois University senior guard Trenton Massner was named to the preseason All-Summit League men's basketball first team. | Photo courtesy WIU Athletics

MACOMB, Ill. — Western Illinois University senior guard Trenton Massner was one of six men’s basketball players named to the preseason All-Summit League first team, while the Leathernecks were picked to finish seventh in the 10-team preseason poll. Massner, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard from Wapello, Iowa, is the Leathernecks’ top returning scorer at 16.4 points…

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Leathernecks unable to sustain momentum after strong start to second half

Western Illinois University running back Jaylen Reed looks for running room during Saturday's game against Northern Iowa in Macomb, Ill. | Photo courtesy WIU Athletics

MACOMB, Ill. — After a scoreless first quarter, the Northern Iowa football team put things together, earning its first victory of the season, topping Western Illinois University 52-17 at Hanson Field on Saturday afternoon. The loss drops the Leathernecks to 0-4 overall and 0-1 in Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Leathernecks and Panthers went toe-to-toe…

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WIU’s ball-hawking start against Minnesota fades in lopsided loss to Big Ten opponent

The Western Illinois University defense celebrates after forcing and recovering a fumble by Minnesota on the opening possession of Saturday's game in Minneapolis. | Photo courtesy Rachael Keating, WIU athletics

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — If Western Illinois University defensive coordinator Todd Drury could script the start to every game, he’d pencil in the result of the opening series Saturday against Minnesota. Force a fumble, recover it and put the Leathernecks’ offense in prime position. That’s how it went against the Golden Gophers. After a 2-yard reception…

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WIU’s Houston sticks with Cowboys, while C-SC’s Rupcich gets cut by Titans

Former Western Illinois University wide receiver Dennis Houston made the 53-man roster with the Dallas Cowboys. | Photo courtesy WIU athletics

QUINCY — One undrafted free agent defied the odds. Another’s pursuit of an NFL career isn’t over. The ever-evolving NFL rosters could create unique opportunities for both. Former Western Illinois University wide receiver Dennis Houston made the Dallas Cowboys’ 53-man roster after final cuts were announced Tuesday. Meanwhile, former Culver-Stockton College All-American offensive tackle Andrew…

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Commitment to rebuilding WIU football program from within gives ‘Necks solid foundation

The defensive line, along with the offensive front, appears to be a strength for the Western Illinois University football team heading into Thursday's season opener at Tennessee-Martin. | Photo courtesy WIU athletics

MACOMB, Ill. — The five returning players that sat to each side of Western Illinois University football coach Myers Hendrickson at media day felt like they had a stake in the rebuilding of the Leathernecks. In a time when the NCAA’s transfer portal makes it easy to find a way out, those players wanted to…

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QU women’s volleyball team finishes strong in exhibition victory over WIU

Quincy University setter Makayla Knoblauch, right, battles at the net during Saturday's exhibition match against Western Illinois University at Western Hall in Macomb, Ill. | Photo courtesy Max Bennett, QU athletics

MACOMB, Ill. — The Quincy University women’s volleyball team doesn’t officially open its season until Friday at the Henderson State Tournament in Arkadelphia, Ark., but the Hawks already have set the stage for success. QU dominated Western Illinois University in the final two sets of Saturday’s exhibition match at Western Hall, winning 25-17, 22-25, 25-16,…

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WIU names Sheriff as interim baseball coach

Western Illinois University interim baseball coach Tayler Sheriff | Submitted photo

MACOMB, Ill. — Western Illinois University Director of Athletics Paul Bubb announced Monday that Tayler Sheriff will serve as the interim head coach of the baseball program for the 2023 season. “After speaking with returning members of the baseball team, I truly believe this is the best opportunity for this program at this time,” Bubb said.…

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College notebook: Surprenant resigns at WIU, Spraker goes to Blue Jays spring training, Hawks’ Lewis in top 10 at nationals

The news came as a surprise on many fronts when it was released late last Friday afternoon that Danielle Surprenant was resigning as the Western Illinois University athletic director. “We thank Danielle for her service to the University and for her leadership in Leatherneck athletics,” WIU President Guiyou Huang said in a press release. “We…

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