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Western Illinois leads from start to finish in win over UNO basketball

Western Illinois leads from start to finish in win over UNO basketball

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UNO chased Western Illinois all night, but the Mavericks never could catch the Leathernecks.

Western Illinois led from start to finish as it held off the UNO men for an 85-77 Summit League win Friday night at Baxter Arena.

UNO pulled within 74-71 with 2:50 left after back-to-back 3-pointers by Ayo Akinwole and Nick Ferrarini, and the Mavs went to the free throw line with 2:15 left to get even closer.

But UNO missed the free throw, and on the next possession, Western Illinois’ Colton Sandage converted a layup after an offensive rebound. The Leathernecks then hit 9 of 10 free throws in the final minute.

Western Illinois controlled the glass, outrebounding the Mavs 46-29. That included 14 on the offensive end.

Will Carius led Western Illinois with 21 points while Anthony Jones added 20 off the bench.

Western Illinois held leads of 26-13 in the first half and 60-46 with 12 minutes left. Akinwole kept UNO close in the second half when he scored 21 of his career-high 27 points. The Papillion-La Vista graduate also had five rebounds and four assists.

Ferrarini added 11 points off the bench, Marlon Ruffin had 10 and Matt Pile chipped in nine points and nine rebounds.

UNO (2-15, 0-7), which has dropped 11 straight, will play Western Illinois again Saturday at 7 p.m.

Meet the 2020-21 UNO men's basketball team


Omaha World-Herald: Local Sports

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