BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — It wasn’t pretty, but WKU Hilltopper Basketball’s comeback win
sure was sweet Monday night.
The Hilltoppers (10-9, 3-3 Conference USA) scored 14 unanswered points late in the
second half to surge past Marshall, soaring to a 68-59 victory in front of 6,368
fans at E.A. Diddle Arena.
“Once we go down seven, we go on a 14-0 run to go up seven,” WKU head coach Rick
Stansbury said. “That was key and huge – got that building into it. We found a way
from there on out to be efficient.”
After Marshall (12-7, 5-1) pulled in front 53-46 with a 7-0 run, WKU rattled off 14
straight points to go up 60-53 with 1:37 left.
Sophomore guard Josh Anderson had eight points during that stretch, including a
steal and fast-break dunk that put the Hilltoppers in front for good at 54-53.
Anderson finished with a career-high 25 points and five steals – 18 of those points
after halftime. He made 10 of 16 shots from the field.
Freshman center Charles Bassey scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 17
rebounds. Sophomore guard Taveion Hollingsworth was held scoreless in the first half
but finished with 10 points, netting 6 of 6 free throws.
“We came out in the second half with a positive mindset and going hard,” Bassey
said. “We just tried to take care of the ball and play defense. In the first half,
we were jacking up shots, going back and forth with them, shooting 3s. We just had
to calm down and let the game come to us.”
The Hilltoppers had 15 turnovers in a disjointed first half for both teams.
The teams combined for 26 turnovers before the break. WKU’s final miscue of the half
turned into a Marshall 3-pointer just before the buzzer that made it 25-24 Herd.
Marshall came out and hit three straight 3s early in the second half to claim a
The Hilltoppers kept chipping away and tied it at 46-46 with 7:39 remaining on a 3
The Herd scored seven in a row before WKU dropped the hammer with the 14-0 burst.
The Hilltoppers had a similar finish in last year’s meeting between the teams in
Diddle Arena, with the home team scoring the final 15 of that contest.
Monday’s win avenged a 70-69 loss to Marshall just nine days ago in Huntington,
W.Va. WKU led that game by 15 at one point.
“The atmosphere was great,” Anderson said. “A lot of fans came out and showed their
support. We appreciate them a lot. I feel like they played a big part in the game.
We feed off their energy, so they definitely played a big part in the game.”
The Hilltoppers outrebounded Marshall 47-28, held the Herd to a season low for
points and netted 18 of 22 free throws, including 14 of 16 in the second half.
Jon Elmore paced the Herd with 17 points.
The Hilltoppers head back on the road for a two-game swing, starting at Southern
Miss at 7 p.m. CT Thursday in Hattiesburg, Miss. The game will stream online via
Stadium and air locally in Bowling Green on WKU-PBS.