WKU Basketball falls to MTSU 66-62

01/21/2018 12:04 AM

WKU (14-6, 6-1 Conference USA) fulfilled its season-long charge of selling out E.A. Diddle Arena. The standing room only crowd got its money worth as the Hilltoppers and their bitter rival, MTSU (14-5, 6-1, Conference USA) left everything on the court.

The Tops led the way most of the first half. However with just a few minutes left before halftime, the Tops had the lead wrestled away from them by a stout MTSU team led by senior Giddy Potts and forward Nick King, who was making his debut in this rivalry.

The game was chippy through out and punctuated the tense atmosphere. Both WKU’s LaMonte Bearden and MTSU’s Tyreke Dixon got into a scuffle that resulted in technical fouls for both. Careless mistakes to begin the second half caused uncharacteristic turnovers for the Tops. It didn’t help matters that King torched WKU for 28 points including a 35-footer which proved to be the dagger in the Tops’ heart. MTSU would push their lead to 10 points as they attacked the basket and pushed WKU around down low.

WKU would scratch and claw and get the lead down to one point. However, the Tops didn’t have enough left to complete the comeback and fell to Middle once again, 66-62. For Coach Rick Stansbury, the difference in the game was the “self inflicted” turnovers that MTSU was able to capitalize on.

Stansbury also said his team didn’t have an answer for King’s sterling performance.

MTSU’s Kermit Davis said WKU is a great team who guarded his team tough under the basket and is most definitely a NCAA tournament worthy squad.

Middle now has beaten WKU 12 out of the last 14 times they’ve played. The Tops are now locked in a 3-way tie atop the conference with MTSU and Old Dominion. They will next face a Marshall team that they blew out just a couple of weeks ago.

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