SEATTLE, Wash. — WKU Hilltopper Basketball led No. 25/24 Washington by nine points
at halftime Tuesday, but couldn’t sustain the lead on the road in a 73-55 loss to
open the season.
The Hilltoppers (0-1) finished the first half on a 20-2 run, including the final 17
points of the frame, to make it 36-27 WKU at the break.
But Washington (1-0) opened the second half with a 13-0 run, then outscored WKU 15-2
later to pull away for good.
“We survived to halftime with some foul trouble and got to halftime with a lead, and
it’s a new game,” WKU head coach Rick Stansbury said. “The thing you can’t do on the
road is have self-inflicted turnovers. We had two turnovers in the first 40 seconds
of the second half that led to two baskets. It’s not just the five points you give
up. It’s the emotion you put back in this building. From then on, we were kind of on
our heels a little bit.”
WKU was seeking its first true road win over a ranked opponent since beating No. 4
Kentucky on Nov. 15, 2001.
Redshirt junior guard/forward Jared Savage led the Hilltoppers with 15 points and
six rebounds, while sophomore guard Taveion Hollingsworth added 14 points and four
assists. Both played a full 40 minutes.
Freshman center Charles Bassey notched a double-double with 11 points and 12
rebounds in his college debut, and sophomore forward Marek Nelson also chipped in 10
WKU shot 48 percent in the first half and 28.6 percent in the second half. On the
other side, Washington shot 29.7 percent in the first half but caught fire at 53.6
percent after halftime.
“We came out sluggish in the second half,” Hollingsworth said. “We’ve got to come
out just as hard as we did the first half. … We’re going to grow from it.”
Noah Dickerson paced Washington with 18 points. The Huskies recorded nine blocks as
a team, six of them by Matisse Thybulle.
The Hilltoppers head back to Bowling Green for their home opener, hosting UT Martin
at 6 p.m. CT Saturday at E.A. Diddle Arena.
“This game is very helpful, especially for our young guys,” Nelson said. “They got
some time and got to experience what it’s going to be like the rest of the season.
There are going to be a lot of games that are close, and the margin for error on the
road is very small. This game will help us grow and prepare for the next game on