BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A conference title is at stake this week for WKU Hilltopper
Basketball, starting at No. 24 Middle Tennessee at 7 p.m. CT Thursday in
WKU has won six straight games and 15 of its last 17, including an 88-66 rout of Old
Dominion in Saturday’s Senior Night.
MTSU has won 10 in a row and has been ranked for two straight weeks. WKU leads the
all-time series – which dates back to the 1914-15 season – 93-42, but MTSU has won
12 of the last 14.
WKU head coach Rick Stansbury is 0-3 all-time against the Blue Raiders.
WKU (22-7, 14-2 C-USA) at No. 24 Middle Tennessee (23-5, 15-1 C-USA)
March 1, 2018 | 7 p.m. CT
Murphy Center | Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Listen: Hilltopper IMG Sports Network (WKLX
100.7 FM flagship), TuneIn Radio (free) (Randy Lee, pxp | Hal Schmitt, analysis)
Watch: CBS Sports Network (Jason Horowitz,
pxp | Tim Doyle, analysis)
Live Stats: Middle Tennessee Stats
• WKU will be trying to defeat multiple ranked teams in a season (also beat Purdue)
for the first time since 1993, when it beat No. 13 New Orleans and No. 6 Seton Hall.
The Hilltoppers will also be looking for their first true road win over a ranked
opponent since beating No. 4 Kentucky in Lexington on Nov. 15, 2001.
• WKU won its last game vs. a ranked league foe, a 72-65 victory over No. 25 Old
Dominion on Jan. 10, 2015.
• The Hilltoppers’ 22 overall wins and their 14 league wins are both their most
• WKU has made at least one 3-pointer in 967 consecutive games, dating back to March
15, 1987. The 3-point shot was instituted prior to the 1986-87 season. The
Hilltoppers’ streak is the sixth-longest in the nation behind Kentucky, UNLV,
Vanderbilt, Duke and Arkansas.
• In the last five games, WKU is averaging 90.2 points and shooting a combined 58.2
percent from the field.
• WKU’s current scoring average of 79.6 points per game would be the program’s
highest since 1994-95.
• WKU ranks eighth in the country in field goal percentage and first in Conference
USA at 50.2 percent. That percentage would rank seventh for a single season in
• WKU has shot 55 percent or better in five straight games for the first time since
1978-79. The Tops are tied with Arizona for most games shooting 55 percent or better
this season with 10.
• WKU has outscored its opponents 1,192-854 in the paint this season.
Taveion Hollingsworth has scored in double figures in 19 of the last 23 games, and
the freshman is averaging 16.3 points per game over his last eight outings.
• After averaging 10.2 points over a six-game span and shooting 2 of 17 from 3-point
range in that time, Darius Thompson is averaging 17.4 points over his last five
outings while shooting 10 of 20 from 3.
• Justin Johnson has grabbed at least 12 rebounds in seven of the last 15 games and
has done so in 10 games overall this season. He had just seven such games all last
• As of Friday, Justin Johnson was ranked eighth among active NCAA players for
career rebounds and tied for 12th in career double-doubles. Johnson is one of four
active NCAA players with at least 1,500 career points and 950 rebounds.
• Justin Johnson is ranked 15th on WKU’s all-time scoring list with 1,548 career
points. He needs 34 points to pass A.J. Slaughter to move into 14th.
• Justin Johnson ranks fifth on WKU’s all-time rebounding list with 970 career
boards. Johnson is one of five Hilltoppers in program history ranked in the top 15
in scoring and the top 10 in rebounding.
• Justin Johnson needs 30 rebounds to reach 1,000 for his career. That would make
him just the fifth player in WKU history with 1,000 career points and 1,000
rebounds, joining Tom Marshall, Art Spoelstra, Ralph Crosthwaite and Jim McDaniels,
the last to accomplish the feat in 1971.
LAST GAME AGAINST MIDDLE TENNESSEE: JANUARY 20, 2018
Costly turnovers and poor outside shooting worked against WKU in a 66-62 loss to
Middle Tennessee at an over-capacity E.A. Diddle Arena. The Hilltoppers shot 52.6
percent in the second half and made 25 of 31 free throws, but Middle Tennessee got
44 combined points from seniors Nick King and Giddy Potts to claim the road win.
Senior forward Dwight Coleby led WKU with 19 points, and senior Justin Johnson
finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.
MED CENTER HEALTH
The 2017-18 WKU Basketball season is presented by Med Center Health. With The
Medical Center at its core, Med Center Health has served Southcentral Kentucky for
more than 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.