Jabin Botsford - College Heights Herald

GAMEDAY: Tops @ UT-Arlington

 

Dont wipe your brow just yet – the intensity and close match ups are far from over. The next one for the HIlltoppers comes tonight and if the game against Texas State was tough for WKU…then the Texas-Arlington Mavericks will provide an even more heart punning contest. Let’s delve deeper into what we will see on the court tonight!

Last matchup, we saw a physical and intense game between that went down to the wire. Tempers flared and statements were made. Tonight…we have Round 2.

UTA comes into this one ranked 6th in the SBC, but don’t let that record fool you. I think that this Maverick squad is at least the 4th best team in the Sun Belt…and I have a feeling you will see why I think that tonight. The Maverick’s offensive attack will be led by senior standout Reger Dowell. Dowell leads the SBC in scoring and sits 28th nationally as he averages 20 PPG. He is also one of five players in the nation to average 20 points per contest who didn’t average double digits in their previous season.

However Dowell isn’t the only offensive force…and that is what is scary about UTA. Brandon Edwards makes his presence known as he is averaging 15.8 PPG along with 9.3 RPG. Next is Lonnie McClanahan (14.9 PPG; 4.4 RPG), he isn’t as dominant but he is an impact perfumer that can spark the Maverick offense to get clicking. UTA will definitely be a tough match up for WKU… and if things go similarly to how they went down in Diddle… this will be a heck of a ball game.

Now for the Tops! By this point, who knows what team will show up to play tonight? WKU seems to always play down to their competition which is what we saw thursday night with Texas State. Not saying that is what will be the case tonight, because these teams are fairly even, but if the trend continues the Tops will play very equally to the Mavericks creating a great game.

What do the Tops need to do tonight? SCORE. Thursday WKU had 3 double digit scorers, all of those scorers were closer to 10 points than 20. Despite shooting 40% on the night, it seemed as if the Tops couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. Their free throw shooting was pathetic as normal (50%). WKU just wasn’t in the game, and kept a bad team in it until the very end. The Tops will have to be able to drain the buckets tonight to stay ahead of the physical Mavericks.

I also think the Tops need to utilize the post. WKU needs to counteract the physical play of the Mavs by using George Fant, Daouda Soumaoro, and O’Karo Akamune heavily in the post. Those three crashing the boards as often as they can, especially on the offensive end and being able to make easy baskets could very well be a difference maker in this game.

For the starters I think it will be  Chris Harrison-DocksCaden DickersonTrency Jackson, Fant, and Soumaoro, as T.J. Price isn’t 100% healthy yet, and probably wont start again this year to be ready for the tournament in New Orleans.

I know the Hilltoppers can win this ball game…even at UTA’s court. I think we could definitely see some heated arguments at some point…and should see this one go down to the wire. Basically…this one is going to be FUN! Be sure to tune in at 7:30 for the Hilltopper IMG radio broadcast! Stand Up and Cheer, Topper Nation!

 

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Tags: Gameday Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

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