The WKU men's basketball team erased a 13-point second-half deficit Saturday night at Troy and moved to 2-0 in Sun Belt Conference play for the first time in three seasons with a 75-71 win over the Trojans. The Hilltoppers improved to 6-2 on the season.
The Hilltoppers have now won eight of the last 12 games they have trailed at halftime after losing 12-straight in that situation previously and earned their first win in Troy in the last four visits. WKU has won 13 of its last 16 contests overall.
T.J. Price followed up a 30-point outburst at ULM on Thursday with 21 more Saturday night on 9-of-14 shooting, and he added a career high 10 rebounds. George Fant also had a double-double for the Hilltoppers, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Teeng Akol had 14 and nine off the bench. Tory was paced by 20 points by Antoine Myers.
In the first of many instances of answering the Trojan attack, WKU called a timeout with 13:19 left in the first half and Troy leading 17-11, and the Hilltoppers responded after the break by rattling off seven-straight points to take an 18-17 lead, highlighted by a Price three-pointer after great ball movement.
After taking a 23-20 lead WKU went over 5:00 without scoring, and Troy went on 14-0 run to open a 34-23 advantage. The two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the first half, and a Price buzzer-beater made the halftime score 43-35 in favor of Troy.
Price followed up his 16 first-half points at ULM on Thursday with 17 in the opening 20 minutes tonight on 7-of-10 shooting. WKU outrebounded Troy in the first half 20-11, but the Hilltoppers committed nine turnovers.
Troy opened up a 13-point lead just after the start of the second half at 48-35, but the Hilltoppers stayed with it and trimmed the lead to eight a few minutes later after a 5-0 scoring burst.
The Trojans extended it to 12 a couple of minutes later at 66-54, but the Hilltoppers responded with their largest run of the game, outscoring Troy 11-2 over 2:53 to trim the lead to three points.
The Hilltoppers locked down defensively and took a 73-70 lead after a steal and an Akol layup, and after a foul on WKU Troy called a timeout with 21 seconds left to set up the final play. A three-pointer at the buzzer fell off, and WKU picked up its second road win of the conference season.
The Hilltoppers shot 46.8 percent from the field in the game and outrebounded Troy, 43-23. Troy scored at a 51.9 percent clip and made seven three-pointers.
WKU had 26 second-chance points in the game.
WKU returns home to E.A. Diddle Arena Wednesday night at 7:00 to face Southern Illinois.
WKU Women Win Again
Sophomore Alexis Govan’s steal and subsequent free throws with 5.8 seconds left sealed an 84-81 win for WKU over Troy to help the Lady Toppers to a 5-1 start for the first time since the 2005-2006 season.
The Lady Toppers (5-1, 3-0) have started conference play with three wins to open the season for the first time since 2007-08. The Lady Toppers have now won seven straight games against the Trojans.
Govan finished with a game-high and career high 32 points and sophomore Chastity Gooch finished with a career best 25 points as the duo became the first WKU duo to score 20 points or more in the same game since Feb. 5, 2011 when Janae Howard (24 points) and Arnika Brown (20 points) achieved the feat against Louisiana-Monroe. Gooch added 16 rebounds. Gooch is one of only three players in the nation to record a double-double in every game this season.