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.