Pyle powers Western Illinois past Denver 86-80

Ben Pyle scored 21 points and Western Illinois dominated the first half and held off Denver 86-80

MACOMB, Ill. -- Ben Pyle scored 21 points, matching his career high, and Western Illinois dominated the first half and held off Denver 86-80 on Saturday.

Pyle hit 7 of 11 shots from the floor, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, for the Leathernecks (5-10, 2-3 Summit League), who led 50-35 at halftime. Zion Young had 17 points and eight rebounds, while Kobe Webster scored 17 with four assists. C.J. Duff had 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from distance.

Jase Townsend topped the Pioneers (4-15, 0-5) with 28 points, one off his career high. Ade Murphy added 14 points, while freshman Robert Jones scored 13 with seven rebounds.

Denver shot 52% overall but just 27% from 3-point range (4 of 15). Western Illinois shot 50% from the floor (28 of 56) and from distance (12 of 24). The Pioneers won the rebound battle 31-25.

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