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Hilltoppers Return to C-USA Tournament in Thursday Quarterfinals

WKU Game Notes
 
FRISCO, Texas — WKU Hilltopper Basketball begins its quest for a title in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament at 5:30 p.m. CT Thursday in Frisco, Texas. WKU will face either UTSA or Charlotte in its opening game.
 
The Hilltoppers defeated Old Dominion on Saturday to win the C-USA East Division crown and clinch the best overall record in the league. UTSA and Charlotte will play at 5:30 p.m. CT Wednesday for the right to face WKU.
 
WKU is 4-2 all-time against UTSA, while head coach Rick Stansbury is 3-3 vs. the Roadrunners. WKU is 22-15 all-time against Charlotte, while Stansbury is 8-4.
 
C-USA QUARTERFINALS
 
UTSA (14-10) or Charlotte (9-15) vs. WKU (18-6)
 
March 11, 2021 | 5:30 p.m. CT
Ford Center at The Star | Frisco, Texas
 
BROADCAST
 
Listen: Hilltopper Sports Network (WKLX 100.7 FM flagship), C-USA.tv Audio (free), TuneIn Radio (Randy Lee, pxp | Hal Schmitt, analysis)
 
Watch: Stadium; WKU PBS (Chris Vosters, pxp | John Giannini, analysis)
 
Live Stats: C-USA Stats
 
TOP STORYLINES
 
• WKU’s conference championship was its first since claiming the Sun Belt Conference title in 2009.
 
• WKU has six top-110 NET wins so far this year over Alabama (7), Memphis (52), Louisiana Tech (74), Marshall twice (81) and Rhode Island (107). Four of its losses were vs. top-80 programs: at Houston (5), vs. West Virginia (23) on a neutral court, at Louisville (51) and at home against Louisiana Tech (74).
 
Charles Bassey has been named to the Wooden Award National Ballot for National Player of the Year and All-American consideration. He’s also a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist and a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year top-five finalist. On Tuesday, he became the fourth player in C-USA history to win Player of the Year and Defensive POY in the same season.

• As of Tuesday, Charles Bassey led the nation in dunks (62) and ranked second in double-doubles (15), third in blocks per game (3.1), fourth in rebounds per game (11.8) and eighth in field-goal % (61.1%).

• After shooting just 30.4% from 3-point range in non-conference games and allowing opponents to shoot 41.4%, the Hilltoppers rank second in C-USA in 3-point percentage in league play at 37.1% and in 3-point defense in conference action at 32%.

 

Taveion Hollingsworth is averaging 16 points per game and shooting 48.8% from the field over the last seven games after averaging 9.5 points and shooting 36.4% from the floor in the four games prior.

 
LAST GAME AGAINST UTSA: FEBRUARY 15, 2020

 

WKU dug deep again, forcing overtime on the road at UTSA before pulling out a 77-73 victory.

  

Redshirt senior guard/forward Jared Savage gave WKU a season-high 24 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, and junior guard Taveion Hollingsworth added 23 points to power the Hilltopper attack.

 

They needed every bit of it against UTSA’s dynamic backcourt duo of Jhivvan Jackson (27 points) and Keaton Wallace (25), who scored the bulk of the Roadrunners’ points.

 

In overtime, it was WKU that made shots, sinking 8 of 10 free throws and a key 3-pointer from Savage. UTSA went just 2-for-9 from the field in the extra period.

 
LAST GAME AGAINST CHARLOTTE: JANUARY 2, 2021

 

WKU couldn’t overcome 21 turnovers in its second game against Charlotte in as many days, falling 75-71 in overtime at Halton Arena.

 

The Hilltoppers led by seven with three minutes to play, but Charlotte scored 20 points off WKU’s turnovers and held them without a field goal for the final 5:30 of regulation.

 

The Hilltoppers led twice in the early minutes of overtime, but Charlotte reclaimed the lead for good with four straight free throws.

  
Taveion Hollingsworth put the team on his back with 21 of his 23 points after halftime. He also made all 11 free throws with six rebounds and three assists.

 
PLANET FITNESS

 
Your 2020-2021 Hilltopper Men’s Basketball Season is presented by Planet Fitness – Bowling Green’s original Judgement Free Zone.

 

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