WKU’s season ends falling to (RV) Florida Atlantic

WKU Hilltopper Basketball’s season ended with a 75-51 defeat from top-seeded Florida Atlantic
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 8:54 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU Hilltopper Basketball’s season ended with a 75-51 defeat from top-seeded Florida Atlantic in the Conference USA Championship Quarterfinals on Thursday night.

“It was one of those games in the first half, we had plenty of opportunities to get a lead,” said head coach Rick Stansbury. “Neither team could score. They couldn’t score, we couldn’t score. I think we really got discombobulated bad when Jamarion (Sharp) goes out. We had to start the game with (Jordan) Rawls in place of Jairus (Hamilton). We just didn’t function very well from the get-go.”

Both teams had a slow offensive start as the Florida Atlantic led 6-5 with 14:15 on the clock. WKU The Owls ramped up the offense and rattled off eight straight points to take a 14-5 lead by 8:26. The Hilltopper opened the game going 2 of 18.

WKU was never quite able to get the game back within reach by halftime. The Hilltoppers scored seven straight and cut it to 28-20 with 30 seconds on the clock, but Florida Atlantic hit a layup at the buzzer to create a 10-point lead at halftime.

In the first half, WKU was held to a 22% clip from the floor and a 15% mark from 3. The Owls shot 48% from the field but did not hit a single 3-pointer in eight attempts. FAU outscored WKU in the paint 26-8 in the first half alone.

At the first half buzzer, Jairus Hamilton was called with a technical foul as well, resulting in WKU to start the second half with one team foul and the Owls to take two free throws.

Florida Atlantic opened the second half on a 14-3 run, including those two free throws. The Owls held a 44-23 lead by the 16:06 mark.

WKU came as close as 18 following the run, but could never overcome the deficit.

Overall, WKU shot 27.3% from the field and 20.7% from long range.

Dayvion McKnight paced WKU with 18 points and five steals. Dontaie Allen had eight boards and 11 points while Jordan Rawls scored 12.

Florida Atlantic had three players in double-figure scoring, led by Johnell Davis with 14.