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Cougars Drop Heart-Breaker to Western Illinois

Jalen Henry
Jalen Henry

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Western Illinois senior Dalan Ancrum scored a game-high 34 points including the game-winning three-pointer with 2.1 seconds to play as the Leathernecks downed the Cougars 69-67 Wednesday at Vadalabene Center.

SIUE had a chance at the buzzer, but Daniel Kinchen's three-point attempt from the left wing just rimmed out.

Western Illinois improved to 4-0 with the win. The Cougars dropped to 1-3.

SIUE had taken a 67-66 lead when Bill Awet tipped in a rebound with 18 seconds left.

"You have to give Western a lot of credit," SIUE Head Coach Jon Harris said. "It's never easy winning on the road and they found a way to win it. On the last play our guys did a good job. We practice those situations every day and we got the shot we wanted, it just didn't fall."

Kinchen led SIUE with a career-high 24 points. He connected on 6 of 14 three-point attempts, drilling six triples for the second consecutive game. Kinchen added three assists and a steal and did not commit a turnover.

"(Daniel) makes plays and he's playing with a high level of confidence right now," Harris said. "The guys are doing a good job at getting him open. He's staying patient and picking his spots."

Jalen Henry added 18 points and a team-best eight rebounds for the Cougars.

Brandon Gilbeck added a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Leathernecks. Kobe Webster scored 13.

SIUE led 35-30 at halftime in the game which included nine lead changes and three ties.

WIU hit 47.8 percent of its shots and was 9-19 from three-point range for the game. The Leathernecks became the first team to win a rebounding battle from the Cougars, outrebounding SIUE 36-33.

Western Illinois also scored 16 points (16-24) at the free throw line. The Cougars were 9-14 at the stripe.

"We lost the free throw war tonight and gave up silly fouls," Harris added.

The Cougars were a combined 24-64 (37.5 percent) from the field and knocked down 10 of 28 (25.7 percent) three-pointers.

"We are growing as a team," Harris said. "We've made a lot of progress since the start of the season."

SIUE now embarks on a four-game road stretch which begins Saturday against Creighton in Omaha, Nebraksa. Tipoff against the Bluejays is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 2.

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