BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU Hilltopper Basketball withstood a 3-point barrage from
Florida Atlantic on Saturday, snapping a three-game losing streak with a 72-66
victory at E.A. Diddle Arena.
The Hilltoppers (9-9, 2-3 Conference USA) trailed for more than 25 minutes and
allowed Florida Atlantic to make 14 3-pointers, but WKU seized control over the
final eight minutes.
The Tops had lost their previous three games by a combined five points after leading
each game by at least 15.
“We found a way to get over a one-possession game and win,” WKU head coach Rick
Stansbury said. “Those are learning and growing moments for us. Again, I like the
look of our team and sometimes it takes some hard lessons. You like to learn when
you win, and it doesn’t always happen that way. … The last four minutes, we didn’t
self-destruct. That’s the first lesson.”
Sophomore guard Taveion Hollingsworth paved the way with 24 points, five rebounds,
three steals and two assists.
Sophomore guard Josh Anderson had 15 points and six rebounds, and freshman center
Charles Bassey recorded his seventh double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and
Redshirt senior guard Lamonte Bearden stepped up off the bench with 11 points in 26
“We knew we were winning when there were four minutes to go,” Bearden said. “We’ve
been in that position before, and we’ve just got to lock down and sit down
defensively and guard. We know we can win a game, it’s just about finishing it, so
that’s what we did tonight.”
Florida Atlantic (11-8, 2-4) made 10 3-pointers in the first half and surged to an
11-2 lead. The Owls led 23-11 with 10:14 left after back-to-back 3-pointers by
The Hilltoppers chipped away and trailed just 40-34 at halftime, then went on a 9-1
run to start the second half. Bassey’s three-point play made it 43-41 WKU with 14:54
WKU used another 8-0 run later to go from two points down to up 56-50 with 8:26 to
The Owls tied it again at 62-62 with four minutes left, but redshirt junior
guard/forward Jared Savage knocked down a corner 3 off an offensive rebound by
WKU never trailed again, committing just one turnover in the final four minutes and
two turnovers over the final 15 minutes.
The Hilltoppers shot 42.9 percent from the field and made 18 of 21 free throws,
including 16 of 17 in the second half. They grabbed 10 steals – three apiece from
Savage and Hollingsworth.
Stapleton and Anthony Adger led FAU with 17 points each.
“It was a big win,” Hollingsworth said. “Conference play, we lost three straight and
we won this one, so I feel like we’re getting back in the groove and we’re ready to
WKU concludes its three-game homestand against Marshall at 8 p.m. CT Monday at E.A.
Diddle Arena. The game will air on CBS Sports Network.
The Hilltoppers just played the Thundering Herd nine days ago in Huntington, W.Va.,
where WKU once led by 15 points before falling 70-69.
TOPS END HOMESTAND TONIGHT AGAINST MARSHALL
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU Hilltopper Basketball completes a three-game homestand over
five days against rival Marshall at 8 p.m. CT Monday at E.A. Diddle Arena. The game
will air on CBS Sports Network.
WKU snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday with a 72-66 home victory over
Marshall started C-USA play 5-0, including a 105-97 home win over FIU on Saturday.
WKU leads the all-time series over the Herd 15-12, although Marshall has won two
straight – including a 70-69 victory nine days ago in Huntington. WKU head coach
Rick Stansbury is 2-4 vs. the Herd.
Marshall (12-6, 5-0 C-USA) at WKU (9-9, 2-3 C-USA)
January 21, 2019 | 8 p.m. CT
E.A. Diddle Arena | Bowling Green, Ky.
Listen: Hilltopper IMG Sports Network (WKLX 100.7 FM flagship), (Randy Lee, pxp | Hal Schmitt, analysis)
• Before defeating Florida Atlantic, WKU had lost its last three games by a combined
five points and held a lead of at least 15 points in each of those outings. The
Hilltoppers had consecutive one-point losses for the first time since 1929-30.
• WKU started this season with 11 of 16 games away from home, its most over a
16-game span to start a season since 2002-03, when it also started with 11 of 16
away from home.
• WKU finished non-conference play with the 19th-best strength of schedule in the
nation, according to the Sagarin Ratings, and the 33rd-best non-conference slate per
• WKU is one of the youngest teams in the country, ranking 333rd of 353 in
experience, per Ken Pomeroy.
• The Hilltoppers have made a 3-pointer in 994 straight games dating back to March
15, 1987. WKU entered the season tied with Arkansas for the fourth-longest streak in
the nation of consecutive games with a made 3. Only UNLV (1,039), Vanderbilt (1,031)
and Duke (1,021) had longer streaks to start the year.
• The Hilltoppers have shot 83 more free throws than their opponents this year and
made nearly as many free throws as their opponents have even attempted, a calling
card of the program.
• WKU ranks 13th in the country in total blocks and 11th in blocked shots per game,
and 11th in percentage of opponents’ shots blocked, according to Ken Pomeroy. Its
average of 5.4 blocks per game would be its highest on record. Charles Bassey ranks
second in C-USA in blocks per game (2.5).
• WKU freshman center Charles Bassey has more blocks himself (45) this year than 67
Division I teams.
• As of Sunday, Charles Bassey was tied for fourth in the nation among freshmen in
total blocks (45), ranked fourth in field-goal percentage (63.9 percent) and sixth
for rebounds per game (8.9).
• As of Sunday, Charles Bassey ranked in the top 50 nationally in double-doubles
(30th), field-goal percentage (14th), blocks per game (15th), total blocks (15th)
and rebounds per game (47th).
WKU Ticket Office: Single-game tickets for the Marshall game remain available in
person at the WKU Ticket Office, by phone at 1-800-5-BIGRED or online at
• 10th piece of 16-piece 100th season commemorative poster (Taveion
Hollingsworth/Courtney Lee) for first 3,000 fans
LAST GAME AGAINST MARSHALL: JANUARY 12, 2019
WKU led for nearly 34 minutes at Marshall, but Jannson Williams’ 3-pointer with 20
seconds left proved to be the winner for the Herd in a 70-69 victory in Huntington,
W.Va. WKU was plagued by 18 turnovers and six second-half offensive rebounds by the
Thundering Herd. Taveion Hollingsworth led WKU with 20 points.
MED CENTER HEALTH
The 2018-19 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.