Hilltoppers Return to Diddle Arena to Host FIU
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU Hilltopper Basketball starts a three-game conference homestand on Saturday as it takes on FIU inside E.A. Diddle Arena at 2 p.m. CT. The game will stream on ESPN+.
The Hilltoppers opened league play at Louisiana Tech on New Year’s Day and fell to the Bulldogs in a 73-74 decision. FIU most recently beat Bethune-Cookman at home on Wednesday, and fell 82-77 in its own C-USA opener against Old Dominion on Dec. 30.
WKU is 37-9 all-time against FIU, winning five of the last seven contests. Head coach Rick Stansbury is 5-2 against the Panthers.
FIU (10-4, 0-1) at WKU (8-6, 0-1)
January 8, 2022 | 2 p.m. CT
E.A. Diddle Arena | Bowling Green, Ky.
Watch: ESPN+ (Jeff Hem, pxp | Jay Walton, analysis)
Live Stats: WKU Stats
• As of Thursday, WKU is tied for first in the country in fewest fouls per game (12.8), and ranks fourth in total blocks (91), seventh in blocked shots per game (6.5), 23rd in total steals (127), 37th in steals per game (9.1), 37th in defensive rebounds per game (28.5), 50th in turnovers forced per game (16.1) and 53rd in total assists (218).
• Since returning from COVID-19 protocols on Dec. 11, Josh Anderson is averaging 15.4 points while shooting 63.4% from the field in the last five games. He’s also shot 64.3% (9 of 14) from beyond the arc and 88.9% (16 of 18) from the free-throw line.
• WKU junior center Jamarion Sharp is the tallest player in college basketball at 7 feet, 5 inches. He’s also the tallest player in the history of the Hilltopper program. Sharp leads the nation in total blocks (69) and blocks per game (4.9), and is second in blocks percentage (19.3%).
• Since entering the starting lineup nine games ago, Jamarion Sharp is averaging 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.9 blocks per game while shooting 41 of 55 (74.5%) from the field.
• Sophomore guard Dayvion McKnight is the only player in the country averaging at least 13 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals per game this season. He ranks 12th in the nation in total assists (85).
• Both Jamarion Sharp and Dayvion McKnight have recorded triple-doubles this season. WKU is the first team since 2017-18 to have two different players record a triple-double in a season.
THE HILL AT HOME
The Hilltoppers’ games will be featured on The Hill at Home, a live video feed of Hal Schmitt and Voice of the Hilltoppers Randy Lee on the radio call. This broadcast of The Hill at Home can be found here (wkusports.com/MBBSecondScreen) and will be live 30 minutes prior to tipoff.
LAST GAME AGAINST FIU: MARCH 1, 2021
WKU trailed at halftime, but used a dominant 21-2 run in the second half to pull away for a 71-59 win over FIU and a fourth straight series sweep at E.A. Diddle Arena.
The Hilltoppers trailed 43-41 with 16:44 to play, but allowed FIU to make just one of its next 13 shots. The 21-2 burst made it a 62-45 WKU advantage with 8:48 to play. The win was the Tops’ eighth straight in league play, marking the first time they’ve won eight straight against conference competition since 2009-10.
Junior center Charles Bassey and senior guard Taveion Hollingsworth led the way for the Hilltoppers. Bassey finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks, while Hollingsworth poured in 20 points with seven rebounds.
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