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GAME NOTES: Hilltoppers complete homestand against UAB today

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU Hilltopper Basketball completes a three-game homestand against UAB at 1 p.m. CT Sunday at E.A. Diddle Arena.

The Hilltoppers (12-14, 6-7 Conference USA) are coming off a 78-52 home loss to Middle Tennessee on Saturday, with five games left to play in the regular season.

UAB (15-12, 8-6) has lost four of its last five games, but the Blazers beat WKU 72-54 on Jan. 12 in Birmingham, Ala. UAB leads the all-time series 22-12, although the Hilltoppers have an 8-5 advantage at Diddle Arena and have won their last four in the series in Bowling Green.

WKU head coach Rick Stansbury is 2-1 against UAB.

GAME 27

UAB (15-12, 8-6 C-USA) at WKU (12-14, 6-7 C-USA)
February 19, 2017 | 1 p.m. (CT)
Bowling Green, Ky. | E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326)

BROADCAST

Listen: Hilltopper IMG Sports Network (WKLX 100.7 FM flagship), TuneIn Radio (free) (Randy Lee, pxp | Hal Schmitt, analysis)
Watch: CBS Sports Network (John Sadak, pxp | Chris Walker, analysis)
Live Stats: Gametracker

QUICK SHOTS

• WKU has made at least one 3-pointer in 932 consecutive games, dating back to March 15, 1987. The 3-point shot was instituted prior to the 1986-87 season.
• WKU has had an even or better assist-to-turnover ratio in 11 of its last 16 games, including nine of the last 12. The Hilltoppers accomplished that feat just twice in their first 10 games this season.
• WKU has made more free throws (367) than its opponents have attempted (364). The Hilltoppers’ 31 makes vs. North Carolina A&T were their most since netting 33 vs. Ball State on Feb. 22, 2003.
• Junior Justin Johnson has made 20 of 48 shots (.417) from 3-point range this year after netting just one 3-pointer over his first two seasons. His 55.6 percent career field goal shooting percentage would currently rank seventh in WKU history, and his 55.2 shooting percentage in league play is third in C-USA. Johnson is averaging 16 points, 11.6 rebounds and two assists over his last seven games.
• Graduate senior Pancake Thomas has recorded 50 total assists with just 20 turnovers over his last 16 games. He had 17 assists and 14 turnovers across his first 10 games as a Hilltoppers.
• In 14 games since the holiday break, Pancake Thomas is averaging 14.7 points per game while shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point range.
• Graduate senior Que Johnson shot 67.3 percent from the free-throw line with 17 assists and 29 turnovers in nonconference play. He’s shooting 80.9 percent from the stripe with 33 assists and 23 turnovers in C-USA.
• In WKU’s 13 conference games, senior forward Anton Waters is shooting 59.7 percent from the field with seven assists and 10 turnovers. He shot 48.3 percent with two assists and 17 turnovers in nonconference play.
• Justin Johnson and graduate transfer seniors Que Johnson, Pancake Thomas and Junior Lomomba have each started every game this season. WKU hasn’t had at least four players start every game in a season since the 2002-03 campaign.
• Justin Johnson became the 49th member of WKU’s 1,000-point club on Feb. 11 against Marshall, and he now ranks 45th on WKU’s all-time scoring list. Graduate transfers Que Johnson and Pancake Thomas also reached 1,000 career points this season, giving the Hilltoppers three players with 1,000 career points for the first time since A.J. Slaughter, Jeremy Evans and Steffphon Pettigrew in 2009-10.
• Que Johnson, Pancake Thomas, Junior Lomomba and Ben Lawson have all reached the 100th career game milestone this season. Lawson played his 100th game as a Hilltopper against UTSA on Jan. 28, 2017.
• Ben Lawson ranks fourth in WKU history with 175 career blocked shots. Lawson joins Wilborn, Jeremy Evans and Chris Marcus as Hilltoppers with at least 50 blocks in multiple seasons. With three more blocks, he’ll join Evans as the only Tops with three seasons of at least 50 blocks.

PROMOTIONS

Camper Special: All WKU Men’s Basketball summer campers receive a complimentary ticket to the game. All friends/family can purchase tickets for just $10.
Sunday Service Special: Show your church bulletin at the Ticket Office and receive $10 reserved bleacher seats.
Stockdales Critter Classic: Donate any item from Bowling Green/Warren County Humane Society wish list and receive complimentary admission. First 150 donations receive a $10 off coupon to Stockdales.
Red Towel Giveaway: First 1,000 Fans receive a free Red Towel
Big Red Brunch White Shirt Giveaway: First 500 students receive a free Big Red Brunch White shirt and pancakes!

TICKETS

WKU Ticket Office: Online at WKUTickets.com, in person at E.A. Diddle Arena, via phone at 1-800-5-BIG Red or 745-5222 locally.

LAST GAME AGAINST UAB: JANUARY 12, 2017

Pancake Thomas led the Hilltoppers with 14 points in what was a 72-54 loss at UAB in Birmingham, Ala. William Lee and Tosin Mehinti combined for 36 points to lead UAB. Lee, who has scored at least 19 points in three straight games, was 7 of 8 from the floor for 19 with seven rebounds and three assists. Mehinti made 7 of 9 field goal attempts for 17 points.

ROBINSON NAMED WKU’S FIRST MCDONALD’S ALL AMERICAN

WKU signee Mitchell Robinson was named a McDonald’s All American on Jan. 27, the first in program history. Robinson – a 7-foot, five-star center from Chalmette (La.) High School – is one of 24 players nationally selected for the prestigious all-star game, which brings together the top high school talent across the country and is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The final roster was announced live on ESPNU, with Robinson selected for the East squad. The McDonald’s All American Game is set for March 29 at the United Center in Chicago.

WKU has never had a McDonald’s All American in its storied basketball history. Robinson is the first McDonald’s All American from Conference USA since Memphis’ Shaq Goodwin in 2012. Robinson is also the sixth McDonald’s All American signed by WKU’s Rick Stansbury as a head coach, joining standouts Mario Austin, Renardo Sidney, Monta Ellis, Travis Outlaw and Jonathan Bender from Stansbury’s tenure at Mississippi State. Fellow WKU signees Josh Anderson and Taveion Hollingsworth were also nominated for the McDonald’s All American Game.

Robinson was also recently named one of 25 midseason candidates for the boys’ high school Naismith Trophy, as presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. At the end of January, Robinson was named one of 24 players for the Jordan Brand Classic, another star-studded all-star game that takes place April 14 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Previous participants include LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.

TAKING CARE OF THE CLASSROOM

Despite a changing coaching staff and large roster turnover, the Hilltoppers turned in a stellar academic effort in the Fall 2016 semester with a team GPA of 3.18. Nine players finished the semester with a GPA of 3.0 or better – including five players with at least a 3.5 – and all players finished with at least a 2.5 GPA.

MED CENTER HEALTH

The 2016-17 WKU Basketball season is presented by Med Center Health. With The Medical Center at its core, Med Center Health has served Southcentral Kentucky for 90 years, and its system of care includes six acute care hospitals, a complete network of immediate to emergency services and services in dozens of specialties. Whether it is emergency treatment for heart attack victims or preventative programs to improve the health of the communities it serves, Med Center Health is committed to providing the highest level of care and service.

How to follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Basketball, follow the team’s social media channels, @WKUBasketball on Twitter, @WKUBasketball on Instagram, and WKU Basketball on Facebook.

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