BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Just 48 hours after a road win at Sun Belt Conference West Division preseason favorite North Texas, WKU is back in action at E.A. Diddle Arena Saturday night at 7:00 against Arkansas State.
The Hilltoppers have won back-to-back conference games after losing six of seven before that, and a win on Saturday would make WKU two games over .500 in the conference with six games to play.
WKU and Arkansas State matched up on January 5, with the Red Wolves earning a 75-61 win in Jonesboro, but the Hilltoppers have won 11-straight over Arkansas State in games contested in Bowling Green dating back to the 1997-98 season.
After Saturday, WKU will play three of the next four games on the road before ending the regular season at home for two games against South Alabama and Middle Tennessee.
Saturday's game will be televised nationally on ESPN3 and ESPN Full Court, regionally on WKYU-PBS and in Louisville on WBNA. It will also be broadcast 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.
Saturday's game features the recognition of the All-Diddle Arena Team, as voted by the fans as part of the "50 Seasons of Diddle Arena" celebration, and WKU's 2002-03 NCAA Tournament team will be on-hand celebrating its 10th anniversary.
It is also Big Red's Rascals Night on Saturday, and all members of the kids club can receive a complimentary ticket to the game. Friends and family of Big Red's Rascals members can purchase additional tickets for $7.00 each.
Tickets for the 2012-13 WKU men's basketball season are available online at WKUSports.com or by visiting the WKU Ticket Office in E.A. Diddle Arena. Fans can also call the ticket office at 1-800-5-BIG RED or 745-5222 locally.
WKU (13-11, 7-6 SBC) vs. Arkansas State (14-9, 8-6 SBC)
February 9, 2013 // 7:00 PM (CT)
Bowling Green, Ky. // E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326)
• WKU has won four of its last five games in February.
• WKU has won 14 of its last 16 home games.
• Through 11 home games this season, WKU is averaging 1,145 more fans per game than last.
• WKU’s rebounding average of 37.3 per game is its best since the 2003-04 squad pulled down 38.8 rebounds per game as a team.
• WKU’s scoring margin is 6.4 points per game better than at this point one season ago.
• George Fant is averaging 13.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in the last two contests.
• T.J. Price is tied for ninth in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring in conference games and has made the second-most three-pointers per game in league contests.
• Jamal Crook needs 16 assists to tie A.J. Slaughter (2007-10) for seventh place on WKU’s career assists list at 332.
• Teeng Akol is three blocked shots away from tying Mike Wells (2001-04) for seventh place on WKU’s career blocked shots list with 92.
• The combined record of the five non-conference teams that defeated WKU in 2012-13 is 85-28 (Southern Miss, 18-5; Iowa, 14-9; Murray State, 16-5; VCU, 18-5; Louisville, 19-4).
• With a win on January 17, WKU matched last season’s regular season win total 40 days earlier than earning last season’s 11th victory.
• WKU was one of just 19 schools in the nation to have both its men’s and women’s basketball teams enter January 1 with 10 or more victories.
THE LAST TIME OUT
WKU ended a six-game road losing streak and made it back-to-back conference wins with a 70-59 victory Thursday night at Sun Belt Conference West Division preseason favorite North Texas. Nine Hilltoppers played at least 10 minutes in the game, and all nine scored. Jamal Crook and George Fant led WKU with 14 points apiece, with Fant adding eight rebounds and Crook contributing six boards and three assists. Brandon Harris scored 10 points in 22 minutes, and O’Karo Akamune tied a career high with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting in 13 minutes off the bench. Conference preseason player of the year Tony Mitchell had 14 points and 13 rebounds for North Texas, and three other Mean Green were in double figures.
HILLTOPPER INDIVIDUAL TRENDS
• George Fant has started each of his last 33 games played.
• T.J. Price has scored in double figures in 17 of his last 23 games.
• George Fant has had at least 10 points in 21 of his last 29 games.
• Brandon Harris has 38 assists and just 13 turnovers in conference games, and he is averaging 34.1 minutes per game in those contests.
• O’Karo Akamune has made 12 of his last 17 shots from the floor, and Aleksejs Rostov has hit eight of his last nine field goals.
• Jamal Crook has had 21 double digit scoring games in 48 games since the start of his junior season after having just one in 63 games in his freshman and sophomore seasons.
• Brandon Harris has led WKU in rebounding in eight of the last 12 games and in scoring and rebounding in the same game four times this season.
HILLTOPPER TEAM TRENDS
• WKU has committed at least 10 turnovers in 13-straight games.
• Eight different Hilltoppers have had at least one double-figure scoring game in 2012-13.
• WKU has used 13 different starting lineups in 24 games in 2012-13.
• WKU is 10-2 this season when leading at halftime and 12-0 when leading with 5:00 to play and 18-2 overall under head coach Ray Harper.
• WKU is 20-8 under head coach Ray Harper when allowing fewer than 70 points in a game.
• WKU has made at least five three-pointers in 14 of the last 18 games.
• WKU has outrebounded 14 of its last 20 opponents and is 20-5 under head coach Ray Harper when doing so.
• WKU has come back to win eight of the last 19 times it has trailed at halftime, compared to losing 12-straight in that situation before that.
• WKU has faced a double-digit deficit at one point in 38 of its last 46 losses dating back to the start of the 2010-11 season.
• Five different Hilltoppers have missed at least one game this season due to injury, comprising four would-be starters and a key reserve (Crook, Price, Snipes, Fant, Dickerson).
• WKU earned 10 wins before January 1 for the first time since 2006-07.
• WKU’s 4-0 start to Sun Belt Conference play was its best since 2005-06.
• The Hilltoppers have advanced to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament eight-straight times and in 21 instances in 30 years as a member of the league dating to 1983.
• 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.