Coach Ken McDonald can’t have too many bad things to say about the second half. The Tops had a very complete effort after halftime, and everyone who played scored and contributed good minutes.
Slaughter led both teams with 20 points, while Pettigrew had 18.
I’ll have more stats, along with recaps for both the men’s and women’s games, later tonight at http://www.wkuherald.com. Thanks for following.
Western still holds a nine-point lead, although it has been Crook (4 points) and Dickerson (3) who have stepped up over the last four minutes.
Tops couldn’t be much more efficient – they are up to 52.7 percent shooting for the game and have 20 assists on their 29 baskets.
After a basket by Murry State, Slaughter knocks down another three-pointer to push Western’s advantage to nine points.
Slaughter now has 18 points and nine assists, Pettigrew has 18 points and seven rebounds, and Evans has 12 points.
The Tops have 18 assists on 27 baskets with just seven turnovers.
The Tops have busted open an eight-point lead, and Diddle Arena has erupted.
With the lead down to two, Pettigrew scored on a goaltend, Slaughter found Evans for a dunk, Slaughter knocked down a 3 after a block by Evans, and then Evans took a charge at the other end. The quick 7-0 run has given Western its largest lead of the game and gotten the 5,576 fans in attendance riled up.
The Toppers now lead by four midway through the second half.
Western has closed the rebounding margin to 26-22, and Pettigrew now has 14 points.
The Tops are 22-of-46 from the field, good for 47.8 percent.
The Toppers trailed 44-41 with 16:42 left in the game, but they have used a 7-2 run to take a two-point lead.
Slaughter now has 12 points, eight assists and four steals, while Pettigrew and Evans each have 10 points and five rebounds.
The Toppers trail by one at halftime, and to be honest, you can chalk that deficit up to mental lapses in transition. There have been several times that Western has worked to get a basket but has then given up an easy bucket to the Racers by not getting back on defense. A few halftime stats:
-Western shot 50 percent in the first half, but Murray State was right behind with a 46.7 percent clip.
-The Toppers were outrebounded 20-11 in the first half and gave up 22 points in the paint.
-Western has been extremely efficient on offense, recording 11 assists on its 15 baskets with just four turnovers.
-Pettigrew leads Western with 10 points, while Slaughter has nine points, six assists and three steals.
-Sally never checked into the game for the Toppers, and seemed to be limping while coming off the court at halftime. The senior was on Western’s exercise bike behind the bench for a majority of the first half.
Western’s offense was arguably the most in sync its been all season, but the Tops will have to tighten up their defense if they want to avoid a second straight loss.
UPDATE: Also no sign of Cliff Dixon in the first half for Western.