I’m not quite sure what transpired inside Diddle Arena tonight, but I know that I didn’t like it.
On a night where Sun Belt leading Georgia State finally goes down, and WKU has a chance to put themselves into position to sneak up and possibly take the number 1 seed from the Panthers, the Hilltoppers lay an egg themselves, and for the second time this week.
When we thought we had seen the last bad stretch of basketball on Monday in Jonesboro, Western scores 14 points in the opening 20 minutes of play, but is able to throw up 48 in the second, which actually is 5 more than South Al, but the halftime deficit was too big to over come.
The Hilltoppers (17-9, 9-4) shot a measly 14% in the first half, and only 33% from the floor in total, and while they did indeed play well down the stretch to cut the Jaguars’ (8-17, 2-10) lead to something that could be reached, they simply ran out of time, and South Alabama made more plays, and in the words of George Fant and Brandon Harris, they wanted it more.
Fant would go on to lead all WKU scorers with 17 points (only three points behind the leading scorer for the entire game, South Al’s Mychal Ammons), followed closely by 15 from T.J. Price, who passed assistant coach David Boyden for 29th all time on the WKU scoring list, and 12 from Harris, who scored 9 of those on back-to-back-to-back threes to spark a Hilltopper run, only to be shot down by quick buckets on the other end of the court. George also lead all Toppers with 10 rebounds, although the Jaguars outrebounded WKU 50-42.
Again, Brandon Harris said it best in the post game presser: you have to play 40 minutes of basketball, and the Hilltoppers only played 20. An awful offensive output in the first half (which, mostly wasn’t WKU’s fault – shots simply weren’t falling) proved to be too much to handle.
Lucky, the Tops have a week off before they welcome in the Warhawks, and will have to again look to get back on the winning side of things.
On nights like this it’s hard, but as always, stand up and cheers.