Sports
6:35 am
Mon March 11, 2013

WKU Pulls Out Another Heartstopping Win, and Will Play Monday for Sun Belt Championship

For the second-straight year WKU has willed itself to a Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship appearance, and a win on Monday night at 6:00 (CT) against fourth-seeded FIU would send WKU to its 23rd NCAA Tournament and fourth in the last six seasons.

WKU sophomore T.J. Price’s steal and layup with 19 seconds remaining erased a one-point deficit Sunday night as the Hilltoppers advanced to the championship game of the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Tournament with a 58-56 win over second-seeded Arkansas State.

Monday's game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

The Hilltoppers have stormed through the bracket this season, winning three games in three days thus far to advance to its 13th Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship game, where WKU is 8-4 all-time.

T.J. Price is leading WKU’s offense so far in the tournament, as the sophomore is averaging 21.3 points per game in 33.7 minutes per outing.

A win against FIU would give the Hilltoppers 20 victories on the season, earning WKU its 41st 20-win season in program history, which is the sixth-most in NCAA history.

WKU is 5-0 against FIU in Sun Belt Conference Tournament play but has never faced the Panthers in a round later than the quarterfinals.

Monday's game will be televised nationally on ESPN. It will also be available on the radio on the Hilltopper IMG Sports Network with Randy Lee and Hal Schmitt on the call. Live stats and live audio are available on WKUSports.com.

GAME 35

#6 WKU (19-15, 10-10 SBC) vs. #4 FIU (18-13, 11-9 SBC)

2013 Sun Belt Conference Tournament -- Championship

March 11, 2013 // 6:00 PM (CT)

Hot Springs, Ark. // Summit Arena (6,000)

QUICK SHOTS

• WKU has won six of its last seven appearances in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship game.

• The last two repeat Sun Belt Conference Tournament championships both involved WKU (2001, 2002, 2003; 2008, 2009).

• A 2013 WKU title would be the sixth instance of a repeat Sun Belt Conference Tournament champion (1980, 1981 VCU; 1982, 1983, 1984 UAB; 1997, 1998 South Alabama; 2001, 2002, 2003 WKU; 2008, 2009 WKU).

• A 2013 WKU title would mark the third-straight year a team has won four games in four days to win the Sun Belt Conference Tournament title, after WKU achieved the feat last year while UALR did it in 2011.

• In the seven Sun Belt Conference Tournament wins under Ray Harper, WKU has had to overcome a deficit in six of the seven, erasing deficits of five, 13, five and 13 a year ago and deficits of two points against South Alabama and seven against Arkansas State this year.

• WKU is 48-22 (.686) all-time in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, including 14-2 with two championships in four tournaments in Hot Springs, and the 48 wins are the most among current and former members of the conference.

• Under head coach Ray Harper, WKU is 13-2 in games played on or after February 21.

• WKU has won at least one game in each of its last three NCAA Tournament appearances (2008, 2009, 2012).

• Since 1993 WKU has seven NCAA Tournament wins to its credit, and the rest of the Sun Belt Conference is a combined 0-14.