Your heart done racing from the UTA game yet? Mine finally settled down while writing the post game report. But man it sure was a good game! If you missed it check out the game summary right here. Now we move to today’s matchup, as the other new Sun Belt school from the Lonestar State, Texas State, will journey to Diddle tonight in the second half of today’s double-header.
A conference record of 2-5 doesn’t sound impressive, does it? Didn’t think so. That record resembles that the Bobcats haven’t had the best season to put in simply. Despite the poor record, Texas State is riding a streak of sorts, as they are coming off of a win against Troy heading into tonight’s matchup. They look to try and turn around a rugged start to SBC play, and salvage the rest of their season. I’m not so sure that it will happen against the Tops tonight, but we will have to see. If the Bobcats want to construct an upset, they have some key players they will have to depend on.
One of those players is senior forward Joel Wright, who averages 14.6 PPG along with 6.5 RPG. Following right behind him is young talent Freshman forward Emani Gant, who is averaging 10.8 PPG as well as 5.3 RPG. Gant has been a presence the entirety of the season, however he has been on fire of late. Last Saturday he went for a career high 21 points against Troy, and has averaged 18.5 points as well as 17 of 25 shooting over the past two outings. Not to mention Gant is second in the Sun Belt in field goal percentage as he sits at 58.4%. The Bobcats will use these two guys as the pinnacle of their offensive attack.
As for the Hilltoppers, I think we saw their true points of emphasis in order to win tonight’s game against UT-Alrington. The Tops started out slow Thursday and had to catch up throughout the entirety of the contest. Although I don’t think the Tops will have a problem about being behind tonight, they still need to work on their weak points. The Hilltoppers struggled with turnovers in the last outing, losing control of the ball 16 times. Also to mention, free throws – the Tops are just too inconsistent from the charity stripe and if that problem isn’t solved FAST it could spell trouble. (A prime example of this that we saw against the Mavericks, George Fant, who played a big key in bringing WKU back by getting to the free throw line often, but missed 10 opportunities. If Fant hit’s a majority of those, it’s no where near as close a game down the stretch.)
In Thursday’s game, the Tops main points contributors were T.J. Price (21) and Chris Harrison-Docks (17). I look for these two, along with the rest of the Hilltopper guards, to have a field day against the Bobcats, who come into Diddle dead last in the Sun Belt field goal percentage defense. If WKU cleans up just a few of their mistakes, then I think they will run away with this one quite easily.
My starting line-up includes Caden Dickerson, Harrison-Docks, T.J., Aaron Adeoye, and Fant. These players have been key performers in SBC play and I look to see that trend continue tonight! Plus, Coach Harper said in his press conference Thursday that he liked the smaller lineup and thought they played better. Let’s see if this trend continues.
I’m pretty sure the Tops will be able to secure this one quickly, which aside from the ULM game, will be a good change of pace – these first half double-digit deficits are getting old. (Now watch me say that and it actually be a good game.)
But whether it will be a blowout or close one make sure you make your way to Diddle! All of the action begins at 7PM sharp! See you there! Stand Up and Cheer!