MACOMB, Ill. — Summit League championship contender Western Illinois scored the first 20 points of the game and rolled to a 68-50 win Thursday night over UNO at Western Hall.
UNO missed its first 14 shots before a basket by John Karhoff put the Mavericks on the board. WIU took its largest lead of the half at 35-12 before the Mavs closed the nightmarish opening 20 minutes with a half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer by CJ Carter to get within 35-15.
Western Illinois shot 59 percent from the field in the first half, while UNO connected on just 21.9 percent.
The Leathernecks built their largest lead of the game, 58-25, with 10:44 left to play.
WIU improved to 18-5 overall and held onto a share of first place in the Summit League at 10-2. The Leathernecks are tied with South Dakota State, which got 53 points from guard Nate Wolters in an 80-74 win Thursday over Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne.
UNO (8-18) maintained its hold on fifth place in the Summit at 5-8.
Junior guard Justin Simmons and senior guard Tyler Egli led UNO with 10 points each. Egli’s effort was a season best. Simmons extended his streak of double-figures scoring games to 14.
Western Illinois was paced by Terell Parks’ 10th double-double of the year with 16 rebounds and 12 points. Adam Link added 12 points, and Don McAvoy had 11 off the bench.
As a team, UNO finished with its second-lowest field goal shooting percentage of the season at .333, while Western Illinois shot .491.