Mike Clark - College Heights Herald

SBC Tournament Semifinals: #2 WKU vs #3 UL-Lafayette


Now for Game 2 on the day here in the Sun Belt Conference…and with no doubt this one could be the better of the two match ups because this one could be a grind out to the finish! These two squads faced each other last week, and it was one of the best games I have watched all year. Things went down to the wire…and I could very well expect that to be the case this evening.

Lousiana Lafayette brings with them an arsenal of talent that will give WKU everything they can handle. They come into this one with the #3 seed and a 11-7 conference record. As a team the Cajuns love putting up points as they score an average of 81.7 per game…which ranks them 13th in the nation. They are also ranked highly in the nation in rebounds (37th: 38.1 RPG) and field goal percentage (57th: .467). This squad has only had two losses since the beginning of February…those losses coming to the top 2 teams in the SBC…GSU and WKU. Meaning this squad is due for a big win…and it can definitely come today when it matters most.

Their high caliber players include 2014 NBA 1st round draft prospect Elfrid Payton (18.9 PPG; 6 RPG; 5.9 APG). In his last game against WKU he scored 31 points along with 13 rebounds and 3 assists. Other threats include Shawn Long (19.2 PPG; 10.6 RPG; 2.8 BPG), and Bryant Mbamalu (12PPG; 4.1 RPG). These guys have talent…and look to put on a show this afternoon to cause what on paper would be an upset.

As for WKU they come off of a weeks worth of rest like GSU…and that can either help this Hilltopper squad…or hurt them. This team can be the best team in the SBC at times…and others they can be the worst. In the last outing against ULL they looked the best they have all season. They played as a team..and had true offensive and defensive flow. That is exactly how they will need to play this evening in order to make it to the Championship game. They come into this game as a #2 seed and a conference record of 12-6.

The Tops will need huge performances from their team leaders…which just happen to be their leading scorers. Those guys being T.J. Price (15.4 PPG; 4.4 RPG) and George Fant (13.2 PPG; 6.8 RPG). They will also need help from their dynamic transfer additions Trency Jackson (10.4 PPG) and Chris Harrison-Docks (10 PPG; 2.2 APG). These two guys give the Hilltopper offense a spark when the team finds itself in a slump. The Tops will once again have to play to their best…which has been hard at times for them…if they want to survive the talented and very scary Ragin Cajun squad.

Make sure you don’t miss this game as it is guaranteed to be a fight of 40 minutes…if not more. WKU swept the season series but we will have to see if the Tops can win when it counts…especially when a NCAA tournament birth is on the table for the game tomorrow! The game is scheduled to tip right after GSU and A-State at 4:30! Enjoy the action folks!

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Tags: Basketball Gameday Sun Belt Conference Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

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