Hilltoppers hit the Empire State in match up with Stony Brook


If tonight is going to go anything like the last Preseason NIT game did, I just hope the Hilltoppers at least make it a competitive one.

The Tops are in the city that never sleeps, well a few miles away from it technically, and they’ll look to bring their NIT and regular season record up to .500, as they head to Stony Brook for a battle with the Seawolves. Stony Brook finished with a 23-11 record a season ago, and have advanced to four straight post-seasons, including a trip to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) last year. Oh, one last thing, the Seawolves were picked to win the America East this year, despite not having a senior on the roster. Yeah.

The Seawolves are 2-2 to begin the year, with a season-opening win over Columbia and a win in their last time out on Sunday against the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, with a pair of losses in between there to Georgia and Hofstra. They’re lead by a pair of juniors – Carson Puriefoy and Jameel Warney – who are both averaging over 15 points per game, and Warney is averaging over 13 rebounds per outing. Four of the five projected starters are shooting over 42% from the floor and half of that is shooting 50%. Not bad, not bad.

In the one-point loss against Belmont (which, I didn’t see but c’mon, man! How do you get outscored 38-26 in the first half?!), WKU was …er, led?, by Chris Harrison-Docks, who had 21 points as well as T.J. Pricewho had 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Free throw shooting was once again the Achilles-heel for the Tops’ as they shot only 33%, and even worse, only found their way to the line 12 times. Also interesting to note – Ben Lawson got the start over Alex RostovNot sure if that was just to spark things up or what, but neither of them could really get going – again – combining for 10 points and six rebounds.

Coach Harper said after Minnesota that he’s going to stop rotating and using the entire depth of the bench night in and night out, but we still saw 10 Hilltoppers come onto the floor. Also, not quite sure why Justin Johnson only got 12 minutes (not to mention Rob Marberry didn’t even play), but he made the most of them with four points and six rebounds.

I think Harper stays with Lawson in the lineup, at least for one more game:

TJ Price – G
Trency Jackson – G
George Fant – F
Ben Lawson – F/C

This’ll mark the first time the two teams met, but interestingly enough, each team has only met one program from the opposing conference one other time. The Tops’ defeated New Hampshire 83-52 in 1981, and the Seawolves beat FAU last year. Uh oh.

Tip-off is set for six, and can be seen only through AmericaEast.tv. And no, it isn’t free. Hashtag sadface.

Next: WKU Football Is, Once Again, Bowl Eligible