Western Kentucky (9-5) at Troy (5-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 1 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Trojan Arena (5,200) -- Troy, Alabama. Television: Sun Belt Network. Home Record: Western Kentucky 7-1, Troy 5-0. Away Record: Western Kentucky 2-4, Troy 0-6. Neutral Record: Western Kentucky 0-0, Troy 0-2. Conference Record: Western Kentucky 1-0, Troy 0-1. Series Record: Western Kentucky leads, 10-7.
GAME NOTES: The Troy Trojans have lost five of their last six games and look to turn their season around as they host the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in Sun Belt Conference action Saturday.
After a loss that snapped a three-game win streak for Western Kentucky, the Hilltoppers got back in the win column Thursday with a 59-56 victory over South Alabama on the road.
Troy's defeat of Belhaven didn't last very long, as the Trojans were swallowed up by Georgia State, 81-72, in the team's Sun Belt Conference opener Thursday on the road. Troy hasn't put together back-to-back wins since early in December.
Western Kentucky has the edge in the all-time series between the programs, 10-7, although WKU hasn't won on the road at Troy since the 2007-08 season.
With 4.3 seconds left on the clock against South Alabama, Chris Harrison-Docks hit a runner in the lane that lifted the Hilltoppers to victory in the team's Sun Belt Conference opener. T.J. Price led the way for Western Kentucky with 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting, and added six rebounds and three assists in the effort. Harrison-Docks scored 11 and paced the team with four assists on the night. George Fant rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the double-double. As a team, Western Kentucky shot just 35.8 percent in the escape win.
Price is the team's leading scorer, pacing the Hilltoppers with a 17.2 ppg average. Price adds a 4.1 rpg clip and is second on the team in steals with a total of 14. Fant comes in as the second-leading scorer, averaging 13,8 ppg and has a team-leading 6.9 rpg average. Trency Jackson, though only playing in six games this season, is third on the team with 12.2 ppg.
Troy committed 23 turnovers in the loss to Georgia State, and the Panthers took advantage, scoring 33 points off those turnovers in the 81-72 defeat of the Trojans. Hunter Williams led the way for Troy, scoring 18 points on 6- of-10 shooting from the field in the contest, but was charged with five turnovers. Kevin Thomas contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds for a double- double, but led the team with seven turnovers of his own. Antoine Myers had 14 points as the third Trojan player in double figures, and pulled down eight rebounds in the loss.
The three players that led the team in scoring against Georgia State are the three that lead the team this season, though Myers is atop the list with a 12.8 ppg average, followed by Thomas at 11.6 ppg and Williams with an 11.1 ppg average. Thomas is the team leader in rebounding this season, grabbing an average of 8.4 rpg. He also leads the team in blocks with 11. Williams is the team leader with 43 assists on the year, and Myers isn't too far behind with 39.
Troy's recent slump against Division-I teams is concerning, and Western Kentucky is playing well enough to go on the road and defeat the Trojans in conference play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Kentucky 82, Troy 71
01/04 10:32:41 ET