By CODY RIVERA
Special to The Herald-Whig
MACOMB, Ill. -- The concern for Western Illinois University men's basketball coach Jim Molinari isn't the 60-54 loss to Cleveland State.
It's the potential loss of Terell Parks.
The senior center and leading rebounder in the Summit League appeared to roll his ankle while going up for a rebound with 12 minutes remaining in Saturday's ESPN BracketBuster game at Western Hall.
"He's going to have to have an X-ray," Molinari said. "I'm concerned bad for Terell. When you can't put weight on your foot, you get very concerned. So we'll see."
Playing in front of 4,259 fans -- the largest crowd of the season -- the Leathernecks struggled being shorthanded. Along with Parks' absence, senior forward Jack Houpt took ill before the game and left after playing just one minute.
"I think our guys did a great job to hang in there without Terell and Jack," Molinari said. "Terell went out and that really made a difference. And Jack, we didn't even find out about him until game time."
Said WIU senior guard Ceola Clark, "It really hurt us not having Terell and Jack. It changed the dynamic for us."
It didn't seem to matter much early. The Leathernecks (19-7) scored on their first two possessions and pushed their lead to 15-4 less than eight minutes into the game.
The Vikings slowly whittled the lead away, closing within two points by halftime.
The game turned entirely less than four minutes into the second half.
WIU's Adam Link fouled Cleveland State's Tim Kamczyc with 16:29 remaining, and Kamczyc completed the three-point play to put the Vikings up 34-33. That jumpstarted a 10-0 run.
Cleveland State's Bryn Forbes exploded offensively in the second half, scoring 12 points. He finished the game with 16 points.
The Vikings also received a 16-point performance from Charlie Lee, as he went 6 of 8 from the line and made a pair of 3-pointers.
Cleveland State led 54-49 with 44 seconds remaining in the game when Clark attempted a three-point shot that would have cut the lead to two and given the Leathernecks a chance to pull out the win.
However, he missed the jumper and Western couldn't pick up any more momentum.
"We'll have to sit down and look at the film," Clark said. "We can't let it weigh heavily on us. We just have to learn from our mistakes, try to move on and put this game behind us and look forward to our next challenge against UMKC on Thursday."
Added Link, "We just got to learn from it and be ready."