Another record-breaking night helps WKU men’s basketball to third straight win
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU Hilltopper Basketball broke another program record and won its third game in a row on Tuesday night as it defeated the University of Indianapolis 68-50 in E.A. Diddle Arena. WKU broke the program’s record for single-game blocks with 13 total amongst five different Hilltoppers. The Tops shut out the Greyhounds in the final five minutes of either half to control the outcome of the game.
“We knew this was a really good basketball team,” said head coach Rick Stansbury. “They can win that league and it was good for us. They played a different brand; a tough, hard, physical team who’s going to move it and spread that court. They’re going to be disciplined. They’re not going to run up and down the court with us, they’re going to try and slow that tempo down a little bit. They were good at what they did.”
WKU was quick to jump out to a 10-3 lead by the 15:18 mark. The Greyhounds responded with a 7-0 run over the course of two minutes to tie it up at 12-12.
Indianapolis knocked down 7 of their 10 field goals in the first half from beyond the arc and were able to tie up the game again at 27-27 with 5:10 remaining.
“Honestly for me,” said Jamarion Sharp on in-game adjustments when the Greyhounds were hitting shots. “It was adjusting to the 5-guy who was able to shoot. Once we did that, that’s when everything started to fall into place.”
The Greyhounds wouldn’t score again as the Hilltoppers closed out the first half on an 11-0 run, making the halftime score 38-27.
The Tops’ run overflowed into the second half as they scored the first five points after the break.
WKU extended its lead to as much as 20 points in the second half, and once again shut out UIndy for the final five minutes. In that same time frame, the Hilltoppers closed it out with six points: a jumper from Jairus Hamilton, a layup from Emmanuel Akot and a jumper from Darrius Miles.
Dayvion McKnight led the Hilltoppers in scoring with 16 points. He tacked on seven rebounds, three assists and two steals while shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.
Hamilton joined him in double-digits with 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting. For the third game in a row, Luke Frampton knocked down some big 3′s for the Hilltoppers at critical times, going 2 of 3 from the arc.
“I feel like every time I pass him the ball and he shoots it that it is going in every time,” said McKnight on his connection with Frampton. “It’s an awesome feeling; I’m happy for Luke. Last year, he struggled the first few games and this year he turned it around. He’s one of the top shooters in the country and I believe that.”
Sharp was shy of a double-double pulling down 11 rebounds and blocking eight Greyhound shots. Four other Hilltoppers joined Sharp in the block party: Fallou Diagne (2), McKnight (1), Dontaie Allen (1), Tyrone Marshall (1). The block record was previously held by the 2000-01 and 2015-16 teams. WKU has 12 blocks against Tennessee State on Nov. 25, 2000 and against Brescia (Ky.) on Dec. 28, 2015.
WKU will now turn its attention to the Cayman Islands Classic where it has a first-class, first-round opponent in Akron on Monday.
“We open up with a really good team in Akron,” said Stansbury. “Good, tough, hard, physical team who won that league last year. They basically had UCLA beat in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. They have that whole team back so we know that’s going to be a challenge right off the bat. You don’t have to talk anybody after that. That first one is the one you’ve got to go get and it’s going to be a really good team in Akron.”
The game will tip at 12:30 p.m. CT from the Cayman Islands and will be streamed on FloHoops, along with the rest of the Classic.
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