BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — After starting Conference USA play 2-0, WKU Hilltopper Basketball hosts its first league home game against Charlotte at 7 p.m. CT Thursday at E.A. Diddle Arena.
The Hilltoppers (8-7, 2-0 C-USA) swept road games at Florida Atlantic and FIU in their conference openers, starting 2-0 in league action for the seventh time in the last 10 seasons. WKU fell behind by nine at FIU on Monday but held the Panthers without a field goal for the final 4:26 to claim its fourth straight victory. WKU is tied for the conference lead with Marshall and ODU.
Charlotte (7-6, 1-1) routed North Texas in its first C-USA game but lost 89-70 at home to Rice on Monday. WKU is 16-9 all-time against the 49ers, including an 11-1 record at Diddle Arena.
WKU head coach Rick Stansbury is 2-1 all-time against Charlotte.
Charlotte (7-6, 1-1 C-USA) at WKU (8-7, 2-0 C-USA)
January 5, 2017 | 7 p.m. (CT)
Bowling Green, Ky. | E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326)
Listen: Hilltopper IMG Sports Network (WKLX 100.7 FM flagship), TuneIn Radio (free) (Randy Lee, pxp | Hal Schmitt, analysis)
Watch: Fox College Sports, WKU PBS, WBNA (radio simulcast)
Live Stats: Gametracker
• WKU is 54-15 (.783) at E.A. Diddle Arena over the last four-plus seasons after going 27-17 (.614) in the three seasons prior. The Hilltoppers are 578-162 all-time at Diddle Arena for a .781 winning percentage.
• The Hilltoppers have won eight straight games at Diddle Arena and finished nonconference play 5-0 at home, finishing it with their 14th straight nonconference home win dating back to Dec. 20, 2014.
• WKU has made at least one 3-pointer in 921 consecutive games, dating back to March 15, 1987. The 3-point shot was instituted prior to the 1986-87 season.
• During its four-game winning streak, WKU is averaging 75.5 points per game, shooting 48.2 percent from the field and outrebounding opponents by more than seven boards per contest. In their first 11 games, the Hilltoppers averaged 66.6 points, shot 42 percent and were outrebounded by 1.3 boards per game.
• During the winning streak, the Hilltoppers have also tightened up their perimeter defense, holding their opponents to 29.9 percent shooting from 3-point range (26 of 87).
• WKU’s 97 points against Austin Peay were its most against a Division I opponent since a 98-70 victory over Saint Joseph’s on Nov. 12, 2010.
• Junior Justin Johnson has made 11 of 24 shots (.458) from 3-point range this year after netting just one 3-pointer over his first two seasons.
• Graduate senior Pancake Thomas has recorded 21 total assists with just seven turnovers over his last five games. He had 17 assists and 14 turnovers across his first 10 games as a Hilltoppers.
• In his first eight games as a Hilltopper, freshman Damari Parris went 4 of 18 from the field and missed all three of his 3-point attempts. In his last four games, Parris has made 10 of 20 shots and gone 5 of 8 from deep.
• WKU has made more free throws (229) than its opponents have attempted (211). The Hilltoppers’ 31 makes vs. North Carolina A&T were their most since netting 33 vs. Ball State on Feb. 22, 2003.
• Graduate transfer seniors Que Johnson, Pancake Thomas and Junior Lomomba have all reached the 100th career game milestone this season.
• Justin Johnson needs 152 points this season to become the 49th player in Hilltopper Basketball history to score 1,000 career points.
• Pancake Thomas needs 79 points to reach 1,000 for his career across his time at New Mexico, Hartford and WKU. Que Johnson reached 1,000 points across his time at WKU and Washington State vs. Ohio on 12/21/16.
• Ben Lawson ranks fifth in WKU history with 154 career blocked shots. His 66 blocks in 2015-16 were the seventh-most in a season in Hilltopper history. Lawson joins Jeremy Evans, Elgrace Wilborn and Chris Marcus as Hilltoppers with at least 50 blocks in multiple seasons. He’s tied for fourth in C-USA in blocks per game (1.7).
Football Season Ticketholder Appreciation Night: All WKU Football season ticketholders can purchase tickets for just $10.
Mister B’s Weekday Two-Pack: Two tickets to the game and a small pizza for $25. Offer valid online and at the Diddle Box Office (while supplies last).
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.
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.