Saturday, November 29, 2014

Western Kentucky Knocks Off St. Joseph's in Madison Square Garden

Western Kentucky 62
St. Joseph's 59

Final from New York, New York

Game recap by WKU:

NEW YORK (AP) - George Fant scored eight of his 17 points in the last 7 minutes and T.J. Price was a cool 4 of 4 at the foul line in the final 15 seconds as Western Kentucky fought off a St. Joseph's rally 62-59 Thursday night at the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden.

Fant notched the Hilltoppers' (2-3) first double-double of the season with a career-high 15 rebounds.

St. Joseph's launched several short runs to challenge after trailing 34-21 at halftime. DeAndre' Bembry boosted the Hawks (3-3) ahead 54-52 with 2:47 remaining - their first lead in 30 minutes of play. Bembry scored 16 of his career-high 23 after halftime, but missed a potential game-tying 3 in the final seconds.

Fant sank two free throws and a big putback to put the Hilltoppers up four inside the final minute, and Price was perfect at the line for WKU's first win at Madison Square Garden since 1986.

Game notes:

WKU used the starting lineup of Chris Harrison-Docks, Trency Jackson, T.J. Price, George Fant and Ben Lawson for the third-straight game

· WKU forced six-straight missed shots by Saint Joseph’s before James Demery connected on a three-pointer over 5:00 into the game

· KEY FIRST HALF RUN: Trailing 8-5, WKU went on a 7-0 run over 1:03 to take a 12-8 lead at the under-12:00 media timeout of the first half. WKU would not trail again in the first half

· The Hilltoppers hit 5-straight shots after that key first half run but had four turnovers in the same span

· Near the end of the first half, WKU hit 7-of-9 shots and opened a 31-22 lead with 1:24 to go in the opening 20 minutes

· KEY SECOND HALF RUN: Saint Joseph’s took a 54-52 lead with 2:46 to play after a 9-2 run, but WKU responded with six-straight points to regain a 58-54 lead and carry it down the stretch

· WKU has had a 15-point scorer in nine-straight games

· WKU has hit a three-pointer in 845 consecutive games dating back to March 15, 1987

· WKU has allowed 76 or fewer points in eight-straight games

· WKU has outrebounded four of its five opponents this season

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