adida gazelle Hilltoppers grab another road win

adidas training pants Hilltoppers grab another road win

Western Kentucky’s third win of its three game road trip wasn’t the most impressive of the trio. But, as coach Rick Stansbury reminded reporters afterward, it counted just the same as the last two.

The Hilltoppers (13 5 overall, 5 0 Conference USA) ground out a 73 63 victory Saturday against Charlotte (5 11, 1 4). WKU overcame a subpar shooting night (25 of 64, 39.1 percent) by locking down the 49ers on the other end (20 of 58, 34.5 percent).

“We stay with it no matter how we’re playing,” said guard Taveion Hollingsworth, who scored 10 points. “Even if everybody’s off, we keep playing hard on defense. That’s all coach talks about is defense, and that’s what we had to do.”

The win was the sixth straight overall for the Toppers, fifth straight to start C USA play and fourth straight on the road. WKU’s four game road winning streak (Dec. 22 at Austin Peay, Jan. 6 at Marshall, Thursday at Old Dominion, Saturday at Charlotte) is its longest since the 2013 14 season.

The Hilltoppers are 5 0 in conference play for just the fourth time since 1970. They’re tied with two time defending C USA champ Middle Tennessee (13 4, 5 0) through three weeks of league play.

Saturday win came against a Charlotte squad that struggled all season and is ranked No.

The victory didn’t come in the same browbeating fashion of WKU’s 112 87 win at Marshall, and against the quality of a team like ODU (KenPom No. 72), who the Tops beat 75 68 Thursday.

“A W is a W,” Stansbury said. “It counts the same as the one Thursday night. Winning on the road is not easy. You can’t take it for granted nowhere.

“We didn’t play our best, but we still found ways to make plays when we had to. That’s going to happen some nights.”

Guard Lamonte Bearden was WKU’s best playmaker Saturday in Charlotte. The redshirt junior scored a team high 19 points (6 of 9 field goals, 2 of 2 3 pointers, 5 of 6 free throws) before fouling out after 27 minutes.

Guard Darius Thompson (13 points, eight rebounds, six assists) stuffed the stat sheet as usual. Hollingsworth and forward Dwight Coleby scored 10 points each, with Coleby grabbing 12 rebounds for his seventh double double of the season.

Forward Justin Johnson was just 3 of 10 from the floor and turned the ball over five times, but grabbed a game high 14 rebounds to go with his eight points.

Guard Josh Anderson, playing his third college game, was a second half spark plug for the Hilltoppers. He finished with nine points, all coming after halftime, helping WKU put the game away by attacking the basket.

“Josh was a big impact in the second half when we needed to score a couple of buckets,” Bearden said of the 6 foot 6 freshman. “He got a couple of and ones and got to the line. He was great for us tonight.”

Charlotte guard Jon Davis poured in a game best 26 points, hitting 11 free throws for a 49ers squad that went 21 of 22 from the stripe. Fellow guard Andrien White tallied 18 points, but no other Charlotte player scored more than nine.

WKU went into halftime up 28 20 after an ugly 20 minutes of basketball. The Hilltoppers shot 11 of 37 (29.7 percent) in the first half, but that was better than the 49ers’ 7 of 27 (25.9 percent) clip.

The teams combined for 13 turnovers and an 0 of 15 mark from 3 point range during the first period. Bearden led all first half scorers with 11 points.

WKU got off to a nice start in the second half, and looked well in control when a Thompson layup made it 40 26 Tops with 15:25 to play.

Charlotte refused to get blown out. The 49ers pulled all the way back to within five at 44 39 on a Davis fast break dunk with 12:19 left. The margin stayed within single digits for much of the next eight minutes.

WKU’s lead stood at 55 49 with 5:33 to go when the Hilltoppers finally put things away. A Bearden 3 pointer, two Coleby free throws, a Thompson foul shot and a Coleby put back slam pushed the Hilltoppers’ lead to 63 49 with 3:12 to play and effectively shut the door on Charlotte.

“We didn’t have one of our best nights,” Hollingsworth said. “We really had to grind it out.”

WKU will come back to Bowling Green for a three game homestand, starting Thursday against Alabama Birmingham. The Blazers (13 5 overall, 4 1 C USA) notched a 74 62 home win Saturday against Louisiana Tech.

“I hope everybody’s there watching us,” Bearden said. “We’re playing great right now so come out and support us.”

Stansbury is now 28 22 in his second year at WKU and 321 188 overall in his coaching career. The Hilltoppers lead their all time series against Charlotte 18 10. Saturday marked WKU’s first win over the 49ers in Charlotte since 2015. The graduate senior Thompson hit the Hilltoppers’ first 3 pointer of the night with 17:56 left in the second half. That extended WKU’s streak of consecutive games with at least one made 3 to 956, dating back to March 15, 1987. The senior Johnson (14 rebounds) now has 865 for his WKU career, putting him at No. 10 on the school’s all time rebounding list. He passed No. 11 Dwight Smith (856) on that list Saturday. Announced attendance at Halton Arena was 3,845.{
adida gazelle Hilltoppers grab another road win

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