Western Illinois University Leathernecks
On Saturday, January 12, the Bison will play Western Illinois for the first time in school history, with North Dakota State University's hockey team opening Summit League games. It's the eighth time the Bison have opened the league on the road and the seventh time they've ever faced Western Illinois in a league opener. The Bison face Western Illinois in the season's opening game on Friday, February 4 at 6: 30 p.m.
The Leathernecks have a 17-10 lead in the all-time series, which dates back to North Dakota State's first victory over Western Illinois in 2010. In the last meeting between the two teams in 2014-15, Western Illinois used a 26-15 quarter-time advantage to beat the Leatherncks 86-79 at Western Hall. Keith Brake will be the radio announcer for the Bison on the 1660, and the game will be broadcast live on KUISU-TV (FOX Sports 1).
The win over Kansas is the first over Kansas since beating Minnesota on December 22, 2006. The win was the Bison's first since a 72-60 victory over Minnesota on November 29, 2010 at Western Hall.
North Dakota State rallied from a 20-point deficit in the second half of the first half to rally for a 72-71 victory over Kansas at Western Hall on Dec. 22, 2006. Kansas defeated the Bison defense, which came within 20 points of victory, 77-72 on Nov.
Kansas drops to 4-2 on the year, but the Bison are 2-1 in the Big 12 and 3-0 in the conference play and are in first place in a three-way tie for the conference lead with North Dakota State. Kansas senior guard and senior center K.J. McDaniels (Fargo, N.D.) led the Bison with 14 points, while junior guard / forward D'Angelo Russell (Fort Wayne, Ind.), a senior, had 11 points and was one of four Kansas players with at least 10 points.
The Leathernecks were 19-26 (73.1%) from the free throw line, while Kansas was 21-28 on the charity strip. The Bison were 10-19 (52.5%), while NDSU was 13-21 (61.9%); the Leatherncks were out - Kansas, 26-14 and the Bison, 18-10.
Western Illinois was 12-20 (44.5%) from the field while Kansas - intercepted - was 19-16 (47.7%).
NDSU improved to 12-11 overall and 6-4 in the league, while Western Illinois improved to 11-7 overall and 5-3 in the league.
When the dust settled in the first half, the score was Western Illinois 56-Cal 38. But the Bison took a 64-60 lead in the final minute of the second half before Western Illinois got a pair of free throws from Kaufmann with 4: 04 left in the third period. NDSU used a 13-3 run to force overtime on December 16 to beat North Dakota for its first win over the Fighting Illinois since January 1, 2013. Western Illinois has won 12 of its last 13 games, while the only Bison victory in that span was a 76-72 victory at Western Michigan on January 5, 2015.
We always knew Kansas was coming after they knocked out defending champion Maryland in the Final Four. When we lost it was difficult to get a big bid for the Premier League but we got together and got together. We have to win the conference tournament again to get our ticket and it will be difficult to get back in. At least some of the stream was watched by 7,229 people, averaging 1.2 million viewers per game, according to ESPN2.
We also have a tough week ahead, we have to travel to Michigan and Duke to play a real road game. We have this game on our calendar after we shocked Illinois in the opening game last season.
The Bison are 6-7 all-time in opening games on the summit league slate, and 84.6 percent of the NDSU roster has two years or less of experience. Western Illinois is the only public school to be nicknamed Fighting Leathernecks, and the Menas women's intercollegiate sports team has been the Fighting Leatherncks since the school was founded as a member of the American Athletics Conference (AAC) in 1952. Last year, the Summit League honored the Menas and the women's basketball teams for the second and third fewest wins in conference history and fewest losses in conference history.
The women's team of WIU, which was called Ladies Leather Neck until 1977 and then renamed Westerwind, was renamed as the Battle Bat for the first time in 2011-12.
Western Illinois University is the only non-military institution to officially derive its nickname from a branch of the military service. Other sports, such as basketball, volleyball and athletics, are represented in NCAA Division I. Female athletes are also referred to as Westerwinds, although the name is not used as a team name but is more commonly used as an abbreviation for the university's athletics department, the Western Illinois Athletics Department.