REPORT: Ashley Luke leaving Western Illinois

Western Illinois star forward Ashley Luke is reportedly leaving the women’s basketball program for personal reasons.

WGEM Sports Director Ben Marth tweeted late Tuesday night about the departure..

ben marth 1Why would she leave? According to Marth she is getting married, though he suggests the decision is not final. 

ben marth 2Luke has had a brilliant career in three seasons at Western Illinois. She completed last seasons as the second-leading scorer in WIU history with 1,531 career points. Should she return, she would need just 17 points to be the program’s all-time leading scorer. For someone who has averaged around 20 points per game the past two seasons that seems like a simple task. In 2013-2014 she scored 623 points, which ranks first at WIU for points in a single season. Her 591 points from last season is second on the list.

Luke has been particularly tough on South Dakota. In seven career games against the Coyotes Luke has played at least 31 minutes in each match-up and has averaged 24 points per contest. Luke set her career high twice against USD with 19 points on Jan. 24, 2013 and 35 in a Summit League tournament loss to South Dakota in 2014.

Career Stats vs South Dakota
Date                Points         Rebounds       Minutes           Result
2-28-2015         34                     15                         34                       L 101-87
1-10-2015          26                     11                          37                       L 78-75
*3-9-2014         35                      13                         35                       L 96-94
2-22-2014         31                       8                          36                       L 79-76
1-23-2014         13                        9                          31                       W 81-71
2-23-2013         16                      10                         33                        L 71-67
1-24-2013          19                       8                          35                       L 63-60
*Summit League Tournament game

If Luke is leaving the program she will be missed by the Leathernecks not only for what she does on the court, but away from basketball as well. She earned Capital One Academic All-America of the Year honors last season for Division I women’s basketball.

The Leathernecks open the season Nov. 13 against Central Methodist and will begin league play on New Year’s Day against Oral Roberts.

South Dakota is scheduled to play at Western Illinois on Jan. 27 and host the Leathernecks on February 18.

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