The 150th meeting between WKU and Murray State lived up to its rivalry status, as eight second-half lead changes and key baskets by both teams highlighted a 75-70 Murray State victory Sunday night in Murray, Ky. Brandon Harris scored a career high 23 points and Teeng Akol and George Fant added 14 and 10, respectively, and WKU matched Murray State step-for-step before dropping the five-point decision.
WKU sees its six-game winning streak come to an end and is now 8-3 on the season. Murray State improves to 8-1. Despite the loss, WKU still leads the all-time series between the two schools, 97-53.
One of college basketball’s longest-running rivalries is renewed Sunday afternoon at 2:00, as WKU and Murray State meet for the 150th time.
The two former Ohio Valley Conference foes separated by less than 135 miles first squared off on January 25, 1932, and WKU holds a 97-52 advantage in the series but trails 31-30 in games contested in Murray. Murray State has won three of the last four games in the series, and over 60 percent of the games in the series have been decided by single digits.
Both teams are off to solid starts in 2012-13, as the 15 combined wins entering Sunday’s game are the most heading into a WKU-Murray State matchup since the January 12, 1988 contest, when the Hilltoppers were 9-3 and the Racers were 6-6.
The WKU men’s basketball team is preparing for a tough three-game stretch away from home, starting this Sunday afternoon at longtime rival Murray State. WKU has had the week off for final exams, but some major tests are still ahead for the men’s basketball team.
The Tops will hit the road for Murray to take on the 7-1 Racers Sunday, in a game that will be televised on the Hiltopper Sports Satellite Network. It will be the 150th time the two in-state rivals have played.
Next Tuesday, WKU travels to Richmond, Virginia, to take on Virginia Commonwealth. The VCU Rams are one of the top mid-major programs in the country, and are battle-tested already this young season, with a win against Memphis, and losses to Duke and Missouri.
WKU freshman Kendall Noble will miss the remainder of the 2012-13 season after suffering a torn right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in Sunday’s game at Kent State. A full recovery is expected back in time for the 2013-14 campaign.
“Any coach does not want to hear that about their players,” said WKU head coach Michelle Clark-Heard. “I am really sad that the fans did not get to see Kendall Noble this year. The greatest thing about that is we will have her for four more years and everyone will have the chance to see how special she is. She came back in the Morehead State game and had a really good game and then this happens. She is an unbelievable young lady from an unbelievable family.”
The New York Times has this story looking at WKU's hiring of Bobby Petrino as the school's next head football coach. The Times says Monday's hiring of Petrino began a discussion over whether "Western Kentucky had made a Faustian decision to trade its morality for the possibility of on-field success."
As WKU Public Radio reported Monday, athletic director Todd Stewart said Petrino was the number one name on the school's wish list when the head coaching job opened up.