Hilltoppers drop third straight in 71-66 defeat in Birmingham


The Hilltoppers dropped their third-straight Conference USA game, and are on their second three game losing streak of the 2014-2015 season, after falling to UAB in Birmingham 71-66.

Thanks to poor shooting from both the floor and free throw line, WKU was unable to hold their halftime lead of 31-28 and began the second half on the ugly side of a 17-7 run, capped off by a 10-0 Blazers run.

More from Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Neither team actually shot


well from the floor – the Tops shot 39% and 33.3% from the floor and three, respectively, while UAB had game totals of 38.9% and 36.8%. However, it was at the free throw line where UAB took control, shooting 84.6% compared to just 59% for WKU (a difference that, at one point, was 92% to 45%).

The only Hilltopper to put together a strong overall game was T.J. Pricewho was the only scorer for either side in double figures at halftime with 11, and put the same number up in the second half, finishing with 22 points and three assists. George Fant and Alex Rostov were the only other Hilltoppers to finish in double figures – seven of Rostov’s points came in the first half while Fant got hot down the stretch.

The Tops as a whole actually got hot down the stretch, erasing a double-figure lead and cut the game to 67-64 with just under a minute to play, but poor (more so desperate) shot selection and UAB’s hot free throw shooting on the must-foul basis gave the advantage the Blazers needed late to fully pull away.

Ray Harper opted to go for another new-look lineup in order to get the Tops back to winning ways, giving DJ Clayton the start of Chris Harrison-Docks, but neither provided much spark from their role, as Clayton netted eight points and CHD had five points, all down the home stretch.

It doesn’t get much easier for the Tops, as they’ll face the Blue Raiders of MTSU on Sunday. MTSU beat Marshall, the same Mean Green who beat the Tops on Saturday, by 39 tonight.