Hilltoppers win season opener against Eastern Kentucky
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU Men’s Basketball pulled off an epic comeback against Eastern Kentucky to win 66-60 in the season opener.
Luke Frampton led the team with 21 points, shooting 5-6 from behind the three-point line. Jairus Hamilton followed with 11 points and nine rebounds. Dayvion McKnight finished with 11 points six assists and five rebounds.
“We knew this was going to be a difficult game,” head coach Rick Stansbury said. “I’ve been saying this all fall, there’s nothing better than going on the road and winning number one. Number two, going on the road against a really good team in a really good environment, it brings out the best and worst in your team. Number three, it galvanizes you. And the last thing, you all have heard me say it all fall, I believe in our team.”
This was EKU’s biggest crowd for a men’s basketball game since 2004.
When the game was tied at 14-all with 12:49 on the clock when the Colonels went on a 7-0 run to create a 21-14 lead in favor of EKU. The Hilltoppers stopped the bleeding with a pair of free throws by Luke Frampton and a layup from Jairus Hamilton, but EKU reacted with two buckets of its own.
WKU was down nine points with 1:30 on the clock but was able to close out the half with four straight points: another layup from Hamilton and a jumper at the buzzer from Dayvion McKnight. The late scoring attempt narrowed the score to 35-30, EKU, heading into halftime.
The Red and White then embarked on an 11-4 run that chipped away at the Colonel’s lead. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Khristian Lander then Fallou Diagne gave WKU a 51-49 edge with 10:08 to go.
After two exchanges of the lead, WKU permanently went ahead at the 6:56 mark as Hamilton and Frampton knocked down one more each from long range. The Hilltoppers were able to keep EKU at an arm’s length for the rest of the game. The Colonels got as close as four as time dwindled off the clock.
The Hilltoppers went on a 32-18 run to end the game and escape Richmond with the win. Next up for WKU is the home opener against Kentucky State on Saturday night in Diddle Arena.
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