Western didn’t get their first lead until two minutes and 20 seconds remained in the game.
But they held onto the momentum, beating North Texas 71-67 Saturday night at North Texas and extending their home winning streak at E.A. Diddle Arena to 11 games.
“When it came down to it, we got stops and rebounds when we need it,” coach Ken McDonald said.
Western was down by five points with four minutes to go. Then junior guard A.J. Slaughter hit a three-pointer, pulling the Toppers within three. Slaughter finished with 22 points.
Slaughter then added another three-pointer to give Western the lead. North Texas hit a two-pointer to re-gain the lead, but junior forward Jeremy Evans hit a short leaner to give Western their final lead. Evans finished with 9 points.
Sophomore guard Sergio Kerusch converted on three of four free throws to seal the victory for Western. He finished with 13 points.
Western trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half.
Western will have a short turnaround as they will play at Arkansas State at 8 p.m. Monday.
A.J. Slaughter just hit a three pointer from the wing, followed by a charge drawn by Jeremy Evans. Western has the momentum and the ball out of the media timeout. They’ll have to keep it in the hands of their experienced players and be smart on the defensive end to pull out the victory.
The officials have made it a habit to call ticky-tack fouls. Western has no one really in foul trouble, but Slaughter has three.
Back to the action.
Well, momentum seems to be slowly heading Western’s way. They’ve scored on three out of their last four possessions, including a big dunk by Jeremy Evans.
They’re in a media timeout right now, but the next few minutes will be critical if Western wants to finish off this comeback and make the last 10 minutes a ball game.
Evans is at the line for two shots with a chance to pull Western within five points.
Well, Western found their shooting touch just in time for the halftime buzzer to go off. They made a bit of a run there in the last few minutes.
It potentially would have been a smaller deficit. However, Jeremy Evans was called for a foul on what appeared to be a clean block. Coach Ken McDonald was at the baseline, but quickly trotted up toward the scorer’s table to make his appeal to the officials. Thankfully, McDonald has his running shoes on tonight because of the Coaches vs. Cancer awareness night.
There are two stats that stand out so far. Western is 4-10 from the free throw line, and North Texas has scored 12 points off nine Western turnovers.
Well, it’s Carrie Underwood karaoke night here at Diddle, but I think I’ll head to the media room and enjoy some refreshments.
Well, this hasn’t been a shooting clinic so far. Western has just two field goals, and they’ve both come via Steffphon Pettigrew. North Texas has also gone cold–after starting the game 5-5 from the field, they have hit just one field goal in the last four minutes.
Western needs a spark quickly, as they are 2-6 so far from the field.
Well, this is somewhat of a landmark post for this blog as the first “live” entry in its young history.
Western’s coaching staff is wearing tennis shoes to raise awareness for Coaches vs. Cancer. “Suits and Sneakers”, which it is also referred to as, has become an annual event in basketball for the last four or five years.
The student section has filled in nicely. Once again, in typical Diddle fashion, it will be a late-arriving crowd.
It’s been a long week for Kentuckians. Numerous counties around the area are still without power. Today’s high temperatures should have helped to thaw some of the ice out, but nonetheless, tonight’s game will be a getaway from the hardships that the weather brought to the area this week.
– Andrew Robinson
Western is encouraging fans who are attending Saturday night’s game between the Toppers and North Texas to bring food items for families and individuals impacted by the winter storms that hit the region earlier in the week.
Volunteers will be on hand inside all the entrances of E.A. Diddle Arena to collect the food items, as well as financial donations.
The items donated will be contributed to the collection efforts of the Elizabethtown Food Bank America’s Second Harvest of Kentucky’s Heartland.