Last season the Leathernecks had their best finish since joining the summit league. They surprised everyone and made it all the way to the conference final, but fell to South Dakota State in overtime.
“We were that close and we couldn’t finish it so that really just gave us the fire for this year.”
The Leathernecks fire has yet to die this season. In Coach Molinari’s fifth year as head coach he has turned Western into one of the toughest defenses in the country to face. The Leathernecks rank second in the nation in scoring defense holding opponents to just 52.6 points per game.
Their 13 and 3 record in the conference play made them Summit League Co-Champions.
While everyone has made contributions at one point or another, seniors Terrell Parks and Ceola Clark have led the way for the leathernecks.
“Just to make game changing plays try to do whatever my team needs me to do. Whether it’s to score, play defense, or assist I’m just gonna try to do whatever my teammates need me to do for us to get the win.”
Western’s sensational play has seen attendance numbers more than double each of the past six years total. This team has game in and game out entertained the fans while posting a 12 and 2 record at Western Hall.
“We had like 5,000 fans or something like that. I never expected it to be like it was Saturday.”
Saturday was Senior night and the final home game of the season for the Leathernecks. The 5,089 fans in attendance was the second most ever to pack Western Hall. But that wasn’t a new trend for the Leathernecks as over 1,200 fans have come to all fourteen of Westerns home games.
“It was great to put on a performance and win for them the last game and ya know be a part of Western history,” says Clark.
Clark indeed had a historic finale at Western Hall dropping a career high 27 including a school record by making 6 consecutive three point shots.
“It was great I mean I didn’t know whether I was gonna cry, be happy, I was just happy at the moment.”
The Leathernecks won 5 of their final 6 conference games and have some momentum heading into the conference tournament. And going into the tournament, the goal is simple for the Leathernecks.
“To win it.”
“Win the Summit League Tournament.”
“Win the Championship.”