Now, it’s time to break the record for McKendree coach Harry Statham.
The Bearcats (10-8, 3-7 in Great Lakes Valley Conference) will entertain the Lewis University Flyers at 3 p.m. Saturday. The game can be seen live on the Bearcat Sports Network at www.mckbearcats.com/watch.
Statham picked up his 1,098th career victory at McKendree when the Bearcats upset No. 21 Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday.
Statham tied the all-time mark for college basketball victories at the four-year level — men’s or women’s, all divisions — which was established by former University of Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt. She retired with 1,098 career triumphs following the 2011-12 season..
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The Flyers are 13-6 overall and 5-4 in the GLVC heading into their Thursday night match-up at the University of Illinois Springfield. Lewis has dropped two of its last three outings, including a 69-65 setback to Bellarmine on Saturday at Neil Carey Arena in Romeoville, Ill. The Flyers have shown consistency throughout the 2015-16, posting identical 6-3 records in both home and road games (along with an 89-86 neutral-site win over Davis and Elkins College back in November).
Sophomore guard Max Strus has blossomed into one of the top all-around players in the GLVC. Strus leads the conference in scoring at 21.7 points per game and is second in rebounding at 8.9 per contest. He is also tied for the team lead with 64 assists and is third in blocked shots with 15. Strus set a new Lewis program record earlier in the season with a 52-point outburst in a victory over Northwood University in late November and tied a GLVC scoring record in the process. He sank 12 three-pointers in the effort. Senior center Kyle Nelson (11.4 PPG, 6.8 RPG, .556 FG percentage) and freshman swingman Delaney Blaylock (11.2 PPG) are also among the top performers this season for Lewis.
The Flyers have won seven of the previous eight match-ups with the Bearcats, including a pair during the 2014-15 season. Lewis notched a 97-70 win in Romeoville on Jan. 15, 2015 before taking home a 98-70 triumph from the Statham Center on Feb. 21, 2015.