On the Defensive: WIU women's hoops looks to shut down foes - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

On the Defensive: WIU women's hoops looks to shut down foes

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The Western Illinois women's basketball team has put the focus on defense in their efforts towards a winning campaign. The Western Illinois women's basketball team has put the focus on defense in their efforts towards a winning campaign.

MACOMB, Ill. (WGEM) -- From 12 wins in season one to 14 victories in season two, the JD Gravina era at Western Illinois has progressively gotten better.

And that brings things to the current season which tips off Halloween Night.

The pieces are in place for the Leathernecks to have a break out season.

All-Conference forward Ashley Luke returns for her second season in purple and gold, and local products, West Hancock's Marley Hall and Canton's Tori Niemann, are eligible in Macomb for the first time.

Gravina knows offense isn't an issue and he's hoping they're even better on the defensive end.

"I honestly think we can score with about anyone, especially in our conference, but defensively is really where we need to improve ourselves," Gravina said. 

"We made a lot of changes this year, things I've never done in my coaching career, that I'm really excited about. I think especially since we have some length and quickness this year I think we can be really effective, and I'm excited to see how that goes in the early part of the season."

Western opens with an exhibition with Quincy University a week from Thursday.

WGEM's coverage of the Leathernecks continues Sunday night -- how the presence of Hall and Niemann should give the Leathernecks an extra lift this season.

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