Arkansas-Little Rock vs Western Illinois Basketball Picks 3-8-24


The Western Illinois Leathernecks and the Little Rock Trojans meet in college basketball action from the Ford Center on Friday night. Who comes out on top in Friday’s OVC Tournament semifinal? Let’s dive in and find out with our Western Illinois vs. Little Rock Prediction.

Western Illinois Team Preview

The Western Illinois Leathernecks come into this game looking to build on their 61-59 win over Tennessee State last time out. Quinlan Bennett led the Leathernecks with 18 points on 8 of 16 shooting with 10 rebounds for the double-double while Jesiah West has 12 points with 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. JJ Kalakon had 12 points with 8 rebounds and Ryan Myers added 12 points with a pair of threes to round out the group of double-digit scorers for Western Illinois up to this point in the year. Drew Cisse also added a team-high 12 rebounds and 3 blocks as well in the win.

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Little Rock Team Preview

The Little Rock Trojans come into the conference tournament as the top seed, finishing the year with a 20-11 overall record and a 14-4 mark in OVC conference play. KK Robinson leads the Trojans in scoring and assists with 15.8 PPG along with 4.3 APG and 5.5 RPG while Jamir Chaplin has 14.8 PPG along with a team-high 6.5 RPG to lead the Trojans in rebounding this season. DeAntoni Gordon has 11.7 PPG with 4.9 RPG and Bradley Douglas has 10.2 PPG with 2.6 APG to round out the group of double-digit scorers for the Trojans up to this point in the year. As a team, Little Rock is averaging 77.9 PPG on 47.2% shooting from the field, 33.8% from three and 75% from the foul line this season.

Western Illinois vs. Little Rock Prediction

I’m on Little Rock here. The Trojans have been well-rested and while for some, rest could equal rust, the fact is that Little Rock was one of the best teams in the OVC this season and it wasn’t by accident. The Trojans also won the lone meeting with WIU this season and if I’m backing an underdog, I want a team that’s going to hit their free throws and with Western Illinois being the worst free throw shooting team in the conference, I can’t do that. Give me Little Rock here.

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