Hilltoppers head to Murray State for 152nd meeting with the Racers


The Hilltoppers have finally put together a winning streak. Now, they must take it on the road and look to build upon it and keep having early season success as they travel to Murray for the 152nd meeting all time between the Hilltoppers and the Murray State Racers.

Already, though, history isn’t on the Tops’ side, as their last win in Murray came in December of 2004 – that’s three tries in a row in which the Racers haven’t allowed WKU a victory in their place. The Racers, much like the Hilltoppers, have had a three game losing streak in the early stages of their season as well, with loses to Xavier, Portland and Valpo. But, again like the Tops, they are on a two game winning streak.

Murray St. is lead by a pair of double-digit scorers in Cameron Payne (17 points, four assists) and Jarvis Williams (14.6 points, 7.5 rebounds), and have a handful of players who are another three-point shot away from joining them in double-digit averages. While Payne provides the offense, Williams will most likely be the biggest factor against WKU, and will – if I had to guess – be the matchup down low with George Fant

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Let’s talk about Fant for a minute –


another good game against Bowling Green, in which he lead all WKU scorers with 14 points and made his presence known down low (or, you know, what he was brought to the Hill to do) with six rebounds and four blocks. Four. Blocks. Keep it up, George.

Also a guy who has started to emerge a bit is Ben Lawson, who recorded a career high in points on Wednesday in the victory over BGSU. Lawson is going to be a key figure on this team in his latter two seasons, I just know it, so why not come out a year or so early and put up numbers like we saw Wednesday every night.

Is it disconcerting to see only seven points from a guy like Justin Johnson, even when he logged a half of basketball on the floor? No, not really, especially if Fant is going to put up 14 night in and night out. Wednesday was a perfect example of what can happen when the guys who are supposed to step up for the Hilltoppers do. But, above all, Wednesday’s win was an example that yes, this basketball team can close out a game. What a relief, right?

Here’s how I would line the Tops up, if I were in control of the team. Which I’m obviously not.

Trency Jackson – G
Chris Harrison-Docks – G
T.J. Price – G
George Fant – G
Ben Lawson – F

Keep Lawson in over Rostov, you might be asking? No, I’m going to punish the young man coming off a career day in points. Heavens yes, I’m going to put him in and see what he can do once more.

WKU looks for their 99th win all time in the series (one they currently lead 98-53), but again, the Tops have had their recent struggles in Murray. Tip off is set for 5:30 in BG, and is again going to be broadcast on American Sports Network. But I have no idea what channel that is or if it’ll be on tape delay, so please don’t ask.