A trio of honors came down Tuesday for WKU men’s basketball players. Redshirt-freshman Chris Harrison-Docks has been named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, becoming the fourth Hilltopper to win that honor in the SBC.
Meantime, junior guard T.J. Price was named second-team all-conference after leading the team in scoring with 15.4 points per game. Junior forward George Fant was named to the third team, All Sun-Belt Conference. Fant led the team in scoring ten times during the regular season.
The Hilltoppers play in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament Saturday afternoon in New Orleans.
Also Tuesday, junior Chastity Gooch of the WKU women’s basketball team was named the conference Defensive Player of the Year. Kendall Noble was named the women’s Freshman of the Year. The WKU women open up the Sun Belt Conference tournament Wednesday night against Louisiana-Lafayette.
ALL WKU campuses will be closed Monday, March 3. Essential dining and facilities personnel should report to work, but all other operations will be closed. If you must travel, please use caution. Follow the latest updates on www.wku.edu and on official social media platforms.
The WKU men’s basketball team heads into the weekend on the verge of another 20-win season.
The Hilltoppers are traveling to the Lone Star State in search of another Sun Belt conference victory. WKU will enter Saturday night’s game against UT-Arlington with a 19-9 record, with 11 wins and four losses in the Sun Belt Conference.
You can read more about the UT-Arlington game at WKU Sports.
The Hilltoppers are in second place in the Sun Belt, behind only Georgia State.
WKU hopes to continue the momentum from Thursday's win over Texas State, which saw the Tops rally from a 12 point deficit and win by one. The team's final home game is next Thursday against Sun Belt foe Louisiana-Lafayette.
Trency Jackson scored 25 points and Chris Harrison-Docks added 15 as Western Kentucky got off to a fast start and beat Louisiana-Monroe 72-63 on Saturday night.
Western Kentucky (18-9, 10-4 Sun Belt Conference) raced to an 18-1 lead to start the game as Louisiana-Monroe (8-14, 5-9) struggled to score. It took the Warhawks more than 8½ minutes to make their first field goal.
The Hilltoppers held a 43-28 advantage in rebounding, which helped them overcome their own offensive struggles. Western Kentucky won their eighth game out of their last 10 despite shooting just 39.7 percent from the field and hitting only 17 of 32 field goals. The Hilltoppers also committed only six turnovers.
Tylor Ongwae scored 19 points and Jayon James had 13 for Louisiana-Monroe, which has now lost seven of its last nine.
The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah is known not only for showcasing independent films, and bringing together movie-types like actors, directors and filmmakers – but also for its generous amounts of snowfall and chilly temperatures.
For 23 WKU students including Jayme Powell, the Sundance experience was one that can’t be replicated in south-central Kentucky.
That is, with the possible exception of the weather.
“When we got back last night, it was colder in Kentucky,” said Powell on Saturday afternoon. “But it was cold in Park City. We were bundled up a lot.”
Powell , an aspiring film producer says she saw 22 films at Sundance. Many of her days started as early as 8:30 or 9 o’clock in the morning and often ended hours later with a midnight showing. She also spent much of her time attending panel discussions with filmmakers and producers.
A program being used at WKU is providing a better idea of what can be done to prevent students from leaving school before completing their degree.
The MAP-Works system helps identify at-risk students who take a voluntary survey. Students who appear to be struggling receive direct intervention by WKU faculty and staff who direct the student to programs that can help with academic, financial, or health issues.
Lindsey Gilmore, with the WKU enrollment management office, says she assumed money problems would be the top reason why students drop out. But she says MAP-Works shows that’s not the case.
"Generally, what MAP-Works does is let us see about five top issues our students are facing per classification, and lack of financial confidence is always in the top five, but it’s never number one."
Gilmore says MAP-Works shows the biggest stressors for WKU students include homesickness, test anxiety, study habits, and low peer connections.
More than 5,400 WKU students have been contacted or met with in person this academic year about their survey results. Gilmore says the school is working to get more students to take the MAP-Works survey. A little over 27 percent of WKU students completed the survey last fall.