ATLANTA, Ga. — WKU closed its 2013-14 regular season with a 73-55 loss at conference regular-season champion Georgia State, making the Hilltoppers 20-11 overall and 12-6 in the Sun Belt Conference entering next week's conference tournament. Georgia State improves to 24-7 and 17-1 with the win, and the Panthers secured a 13-0 home slate with the win.
Despite the loss, WKU will be seeded second in next week's Sun Belt Conference Tournament in New Orleans, La., and will receive a double-bye to next Saturday's semifinals. The second-place finish in the conference is WKU's best end-of-season standing since winning the Sun Belt Conference East Division in 2008-09.
WKU's 2013-14 regular season finishes with multiple milestones. WKU earned its first 20-win regular season since 2008-09, and the Hilltoppers picked up 13 home wins for the first time since 2008-09 as well. Overall, the 20-win season was WKU's 42nd in program history, which ranks eighth in the NCAA record books. In addition, WKU started 4-0 on the road in league play for the first time since 1969-70.
On Saturday, Payton Hulsey led WKU with 15 points, one shy of his career high. Chris Harrison-Docks added 11, and seven other Hilltoppers scored. WKU played without preseason all-conference selections George Fant and T.J. Price due to a coach's decision. Georgia State was paced by three in double figures, led by Ryan Harrow's 20 points.
WKU trailed 34-23 at the half after shooting 37.0 percent (10-for-27) from the floor and 1-for-10 from three-point range. Hulsey led WKU with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, and six other Hilltoppers scored. Georgia State shot 40.7 percent (11-for-27) and was led by Harrow's 11 points.
The Hilltoppers concluded the game shooting 35.1 percent overall (20-for-57) and 21.7 percent from three-point range (5-for-23).
WKU won the battle of the boards, 38-35, and WKU had 12 turnovers.
WKU begins its run to a third-straight Sun Belt Conference Tournament title next Saturday, March 15, at 4:30 PM (CT) in the semifinals of the tournament. Next Saturday's game will be televised by the Sun Belt Network. It will also be broadcast on the radio on the Hilltopper IMG Sports Network, airing locally in Bowling Green on WKLX-FM Sam 100.7, with Randy Lee and Hal Schmitt on the call.
Tickets for the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Tournament are now on sale through the WKU Ticket Office. Each ticket book contains eight tickets. There are a total of eight sessions, with sessions 1-6 including two games each. Session seven features the women's championship game, and session eight is the men's championship game. Ticket books cost $99.00, and seats are general admission. To purchase tickets please contact the WKU Ticket Office at 1-800-5-BIG RED or 745-5222 locally, or order online at WKUSports.com.