WKU Sweeps North Texas, Louisville Edges UK
The WKU men's and women's basketball teams recorded wins over visiting North Texas at E. A. Diddle Arena Saturday. In Louisville, the Cardinals built a big lead then held on to squeak by visiting Kentucky.
Freshman walk-on Percy Blade hit six clutch free throws down the stretch and the WKU men held off a second half rally from North Texas to beat the Mean Green 70-64. The win improves WKU's record to 10-5 overall and they remain undefeated in the Sun Belt Conference at 4-0.
WKU had a 13 point lead early in the second half but North Texas (5-8 overall, 0-2 in conference) went on a 23-9 run and grabbed the lead at 49-48 before the Hilltoppers pulled away for good. T.J. Price led Western with 16 points. Center Teeng Akol chipped in with 13 points.
The Tops are 4-0 in conference play for the first time since 2005-06 and have won 12 straight at home for the first time since a 15 game streak that ran through the 2007-09 seasons. The men are on the road next week for games at Arkansas-Little Rock Thursday and Arkansas State Saturday before getting a week off.
On the women's side, sophomore guard Alexis Govan scored a career high 40 points and the Lady Toppers stayed undefeated in league play with a 82-80 win over the North Texas women. Govan's 40 points were the most by a Sun Belt player this season and tied her for third all-time in a game by a Lady Topper. The win keeps the Lady Tops undefeated in the Sun Belt conference at 4-0 and moves them to 11-2 overall.
This year's team is the first in the program's history to reach 11 wins before the new year. Sophomore forward Chastity Gooch recorded her nation-leading 12th double-double in 13 games with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Lady Tops also hit the road next week for a Thursday game against Arkansas Little Rock.
The University of Louisville Cardinals were led by guard Russ Smith's 21 points and forward Chane Behanan's 20 in downing the Kentucky Wildcats 80-77 and ending their four game losing streak against the Cats. Kentucky was led by Arcjie Goodwin's 22 points. The Cardinals at one point built a 17 point lead but foul trouble and hot three-point shooting from UK brought the Cats back to within three.