The McKendree University men’s basketball team was defeated Thursday night in Great Lakes Valley Conference play by visiting William Jewell College 84-78.
But the game marked a first in college basketball history.
It was the first meeting of two college basketball coaches who had combined for more than 2,000 career victories.
McKendree’s Harry Statham is the all-time wins leader in college basketball history — men’s or women’s, all divisions — with 1,121 victories. William Jewell’s Larry Holley collected his 902nd career win in the six-point triumph over the Bearcats to move into a tie with Bobby Knight for ninth place on the all-time list.
Junior guard Nate Michael etched his name in the Bearcats record books by becoming the 51st player in program history to score 1,000 career points. Michael, who had 17 points against William Jewell, hit the mark on a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 7:55 remaining in the first half. Michael pushed his career total to 1,011 points.
Senior guard Justin Blanks pumped in a team-leading 26 points for McKendree. Sophomore center Nolan Gerling, a Mater Dei graduate, notched his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while junior guard Nate Bethel came off the bench to add 10 points and six rebounds. Junior forward Malcolm Mabry led all players with 13 rebounds.
McKendree fell to 11-8 overall and 2-7 in the GLVC. The Bearcats will wrap up a three-game homestand at 3 p.m. Saturday by playing host to Southern Indiana.