Go in and take it. That's the motto for this year's Sun Belt Tournament run currently in progress by WKU. It seems as if you blink, you miss a big bucket. Saturday night's game against South Alabama was just another impressive win during an impressive weekend for the Hilltoppers. During WKU's 62-59 win, there were plenty of ups and downs.
The Tops got off to a start worthy of the bubbling waters Hot Springs is named for. T.J. Price, Caden Dickerson, and Brandon Harris each hit 3-point goals in the first ten minutes to help WKU jump out to a 22-5 lead. A scoring drought of around 6 minutes followed and the lead was cut to eleven. George Fant threw down a dunk on Conference Player of the Year Augustine Rubit that got WKU and the crowd back into it. The Hilltoppers hot hand cooled off and USA was able to cut the lead to three before the half. The second half was about as back and forth as it gets. It seemed as if every shot was answered by a shot almost exactly like it by the other team. With 12 minutes to go WKU went up 5 with a Price 3-pointer. USA kept attacking to eventually take the lead. Free throws from both teams caused the lead to change multiple time in the final minutes. With 26 seconds left and WKU down one point, Price poked the ball out of a Jaguar players dribble and Jamal Crook came up with the steal. Crook stood just under the basket when he got a handle on the ball and put it in for two. Immediately after Brandon Harris grabbed a steal and WKU called a timeout. Price swished two more free throws and despite a last second shot attempt by USA, the Hilltoppers came out on top to fight another day.
"We got off to a great start. 20-5, but they came right back. They didn't play last night (Friday) they had a bye. They're a very good basketball team. They have the premiere player in the league in Augustine Rubit. I thought George (Fant) did a tremendous job on him tonight (Saturday)." said Head Coach Ray Harper.
WKU faces Arkansas State, Sunday at 9:00 PM in the semifinals.