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..
Luke 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.