Friday, November 6, 2015

Western Kentucky Escapes Upset Scare from Kentucky Wesleyan

Western Kentucky 75
Kentucky Wesleyan 68

Exhibition Final from Bowling Green, Kentucky

Game recap by WKU:

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- WKU used double-digit scoring runs in each half to help take down Kentucky Wesleyan, the 16th-ranked team in NCAA Division II, and capture a 75-68 exhibition win Friday night at E.A. Diddle Arena.

WKU is now 53-4 all-time in preseason exhibition games, and the Hilltoppers have won 21-straight preseason tune-ups dating back to a 2002-03 loss to the Harlem Globetrotters.

Chris Harrison-Docks led all scorers with 21 points and hit 5-of-6 from three-point range. He also added four assists in 27 minutes. Justin Johnson had 14 points, six rebounds and three blocks, and Fredrick Edmond had 13 points, six assists, two blocks and two steals. Nigel Snipes added nine points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes, and Ben Lawson swatted three shots.

Kentucky Wesleyan was led by C.J Blackwell's 18 points and Ken-Jah Bosley's 17 tallies.

WKU found itself down 31-21 with just under 5:00 left in the first half, but the Hilltoppers reeled off 12 of the next 14 points to tie the game at 33 with 50 seconds left. An Anton Waters tip-in with 20 seconds left gave WKU a 35-33 lead, which ended up being the score at the half. The Hilltoppers closed the opening 20 minutes on a 14-2 run.

Johnson led all scorers with 10 first-half tallies after going 4-for-4 from the field, and four other Hilltoppers had at least four points in the first half. Kentucky Wesleyan saw eight points apiece from Bosley and Jordan Jacks.

Kentucky Wesleyan led 51-50 with 9:30 left in the game when WKU turned the tide with an 11-0 run while forcing the Panthers to miss six-straight field goals and go 2-for-13 overall with four turnovers during the span.

The Panthers came within five points on a handful of occasions in the final two minutes.

In the game, WKU shot 48.1 percent (25-for-52) overall, went 7-for-16 from distance (.438) and 18-for-23 from the free throw line (.783). The Hilltoppers forced 16 Kentucky Wesleyan turnovers, and the WKU reserves outscored Kentucky Wesleyan's bench 43-16.

With exhibition play in the books, WKU begins its 97th season of basketball next Saturday, Nov. 14, against Campbellsville (Ky.) at 7:00 PM (CT) at E.A. Diddle Arena. The game against Campbellsville is part of the 2015 Gulf Coast Showcase, which includes three games in Florida Thanksgiving week. Season and single-game tickets are on sale through the WKU Ticket Office.

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