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Hot shooting gives Hilltoppers series sweep over Rice

Rice Owls at WKU Hilltoppers, on February 13, 2021 at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, KY
Rice Owls at WKU Hilltoppers, on February 13, 2021 at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, KY(Chris Kohley/WKU Athletics | Chris Kohley/WKU Athletics)
Published: Feb. 13, 2021 at 9:10 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -Western Kentucky Men’s Basketball completed its series sweep of Rice with an 89-66 victory Saturday night.

“Not a lot of negatives tonight,” WKU head coach Rick Stansbury said. “I thought our guys came out with some urgency. I thought we were as about as efficient as we could be.”

The Hilltoppers (15-4, 8-2 C-USA) shot 56 percent from the field, including 50 percent from the three-point line, as WKU never trailed the Owls.

“When you make some shots, everything works great,” Stansbury said. Just the ability to jump up and make some shots can separate that game.”

The Tops jumped out to an early 10-3 lead but Rice would stay within single digits until WKU closed out the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 43-28 lead at the break.

Luke Frampton would heat up in the second half, knocking down three of his five three-pointers.

“It feels good,” Frampton said. “Sometimes you just get into that zone where you feel like you’re shooting into an ocean and anytime you throw it up its going in.”

He finished with 15 points for the Tops.

WKU finished with a season-high 14 three-pointers in the win.

“Y ’all’ve seen us doing that other way. Drive it and throw it, grind it out and shoot 30 free-throws,” Stansbury said. “That’s always a good start but I can promise you as a coach, you’d like them jumping up and making 14 threes.”

Charles Bassey led WKU with 21 points and four rebounds. Taveion Hollingsworth tallied 16 points for the Tops, while Carson Williams finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Freshman Dayvion McKnight continues to improve as the season goes on. He finished with eight points and a team-high 9 assists.

“I know how to find my teammates, and I feel like lately they’ve been knocking down shots,” McKnight said. “In the last two games, they’ve been shooting the ball really well.”

Quincy Olivari scored 14 points to lead Rice, which shot just 28% from 3 with 16 turnovers.

Next up for WKU will be a two-game road series against North Texas beginning Friday, February 19.

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