WKU dropped a 67-49 decision to Arkansas State Saturday night at E.A. Diddle Arena, ending a bid for three-straight Sun Belt Conference victories. The loss drops WKU to 13-12 overall and 7-7 in the Sun Belt Conference.
A season high 5,862 fans were on hand on a night in which WKU honored the All-Diddle Arena Team and welcomed back the 2002-03 NCAA Tournament team celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The win was Arkansas State's first in Bowling Green in the last 11 tries dating back to the 1997-98 season.
T.J. Price led WKU with 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting, and he also led WKU in rebounding with seven and in assists with four. It was Price's fifth 20-point game of the season and sixth of his career, and he has now led WKU in scoring a team high nine times this season. Arkansas State was led by Trey Finn's 23 points and six three-pointers, and Brandon Peterson had nine points and 10 rebounds.
WKU basketball fans will have a chance to welcome back a familiar face Saturday night.
Former Hilltopper Coach Dennis Felton will be at E.A. Diddle Arena when WKU takes on Arkansas State. The appearance is part of WKU's celebration of 50 seasons at the iconic basketball arena.
The Bowling Green Daily News notes Felton, who coached WKU from 1998-2003, has kept in touch with the Hilltopper program through his friendships with current coach Ray Harper and assistant coach David Boyden, who played for Felton at WKU.
The Hilltoppers are 13-11 on the season, and 7-6 in Sun Belt Conference play. WKU hosts Arkansas State Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
WKU ended a six-game road losing streak and made it back-to-back conference wins with a 70-59 victory Thursday night at Sun Belt Conference West Division preseason favorite North Texas. WKU is now 13-11 overall and 7-6 in conference play.
Nine Hilltoppers played at least 10 minutes in the game, and all nine scored. Jamal Crook and George Fant led WKU with 14 points apiece, with Fant adding eight rebounds and Crook contributing six boards and three assists. Brandon Harris scored 10 points in 22 minutes, and O'Karo Akamune tied a career high with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting in 13 minutes off the bench.
North Texas jumped on WKU from the start and led 8-0 after 3:44 gone by on the strength of six early points by Mitchell. The Mean Green led 21-13 after a Jordan Williams slam dunk, but WKU closed the half on a 14-3 run to lead 27-24 at the intermission.
While the college football season is long over, there's an important game Saturday for Hilltopper tight end Jack Doyle.
The former WKU standout finds himself in Mobile, Ala., this weekend to participate in the Senior Bowl. The game is a showcase for some of the nation's less publicized players, and is an opportunity to convince NFL teams they can make it at football's highest level.
Bowling Green Daily News sports reporter Chad Bishop has a great article about the Senior Bowl and the prospects for Doyle, who earned the nickname "Mr. Reliable" during his time at WKU.