Troy (8-14) at Western Kentucky (16-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 13, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326) -- Bowling Green, Kentucky. Television: WKU PBS, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Troy 6-4, Western Kentucky 10-3. Away Record: Troy 2-8, Western Kentucky 6-5. Neutral Record: Troy 0-2, Western Kentucky 0-0. Conference Record: Troy 3-7, Western Kentucky 8-3. Series Record: Western Kentucky leads, 11-7.
GAME NOTES: The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers had a six-game win streak snapped with a loss on Monday, and they'll try to get back in the win column when they host the Troy Trojans in a Sun Belt Conference tilt at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Working an opposite trend, Troy had lost five games in a row before the Trojans managed to get one in the win column last Thursday - a 79-74 victory over South Alabama. The Trojans are looking to battle their way back from a 3-7 conference record.
Western Kentucky began its six-game win streak with a double-overtime victory over Arkansas State, and it ended Monday with a 72-58 defeat at the hands of the very same Red Wolves, this time on the road. Still, the Hilltoppers are in second place in the Sun Belt Conference with an 8-3 record.
WKU holds the all-time series lead over Troy, 11-7, which includes a 60-51 defeat of the Trojans on Jan. 4 at Troy.
Troy coach Phil Cunningham said it best after his team's win over South Alabama last Thursday: "We needed a win in the worst way," he said. Considering the Trojans were in a five-game free-fall and watching their conference title hopes go straight down the drain, the win was, indeed, much needed. USA held the lead at the half, but Troy came firing back in the second half. Hunter Williams netted 26 points to pace the Trojans. Kevin Thomas scored 15 points and Jeff Mullahey chipped in 13 in the win.
Williams leads the team this season in scoring with a 12.4 ppg average, but shoots just 34.5 percent from the floor in his 22 games played. His 35.9 percent shooting touch from 3-point range is better than his accuracy from the rest of the field. Williams leads the team with 73 assists on the year, and is third in steals with 18. Antoine Myers is second in scoring at 11.5 ppg, and Thomas is third with 10 ppg, but grabs a team-high 7.7 rpg.
Western Kentucky found itself down by five points at the end of the first half to Arkansas State, which quickly became a 10-point lead after the Red Wolves hit several shots out of the gate in the second half. Chris Harrison-Docks led the Hilltoppers with 14 points in the game, while Trency Jackson chipped in 11 and Aaron Adeoye scored 10 with seven rebounds. Western Kentucky shot just 37 percent from the floor in the loss.
T.J. Price, who scored just two points in the loss to Arkansas State, still leads the team in scoring this season with a 16 ppg average, and sports a team-best 22 steals on the year. George Fant is second on the squad in scoring with 13 ppg and a team-high in rebounding (6.8 rpg) and blocked shots (22). Fant is shooting at a 54.8 percent clip from the field this season. Harrison- Docks is third on the squad with 10.4 ppg, and Jackson is fourth with 10.2 ppg.
Western Kentucky may have dropped its last game to Arkansas State, but the Hilltoppers are still playing some of their best basketball in the Sun Belt Conference. At 8-3 in the conference standings, the Hilltoppers will be looking to make a push at Georgia State for the top spot.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Kentucky 78, Troy 67
02/13 10:19:29 ET