WKU basketball: Hilltoppers drop one-point heartbreaker to UAB


The maiden voyage for WKU basketball in Conference USA has come to a close after the Tops dropped a one-point heart breaker in front of a ruckus crowd inside the BJCC in Birmingham after a Chris Harrison-Docks corner three-pointer didn’t fall at the buzzer.

But,  boy oh boy, what a basketball game it was. The Tops got the hot start, getting out to a 6-0 lead thanks to a pair of nothing-but-net jumpers from T.J. Price and a slam dunk from Ben Lawson. The Blazers would finally get points and get the very pro-UAB crowd behind them, causing the game to, at times, feel like it was well in hand for the Blazers, when in reality, it was never more than a six-point deficit either way.

The Tops were able to hang in to things and make it 26-26 at halftime, and the second half was just as close as the first, except it was the Tops who were playing from ahead for a majority of the 20 minutes.

The Hilltoppers held a four point lead with 1:15 to play when CHD was called for a five-second violation when he was bringing the ball up the court. It’s since been the topic of discussion among WKU fans, so take a look for yourself.

This set up a turnover, and a sequence of a huge three pointer from Nick Norton and a two-point jumper from Robert Brown to go from a 52-48 WKU lead to a 53-52 Blazer advantage.

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With 14.8 seconds to play, Harper called timeout to set up a play.

Trency Jackson

got the ball on the wing with around 10 seconds to play, dribbled around the Blazer defender to the free throw line, dished it to

Nigel Snipes

at the wing who opted to not take a shot, but instead throw it to CHD in the corner who’s three-ball is no good.

Buzzer sounds, and the Tops lose.

For the second straight year, the Hilltoppers’ season comes to an end on a missed-shot at the buzzer from close range and by a one point deficit. Tough to swallow.

It was such a good game in terms of energy, excitement and play, that the loss itself really isn’t what stings. It’s the ending of the WKU careers of T.J Price, Trency Jackson and George Fant that make this loss sting.

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After a night of only playing for 12 minutes, Fant put together the best game on the floor for WKU. He finished just shy of a double double with 18 points and eight rebounds, and was able to fight through defenders and use his body to get to the rim, as he’s done so well throughout his four years. CHD was the only other scorer in double figures for the Tops, who finished with 10.

Well, the end of an era has come to it’s inevitable end. Fant and Price will arguably go down in history as one of, if not the, greatest same-class duo’s in WKU basketball, and Jackson wont soon be forgotten for the energy he brought to the court night in and night out.

The season isn’t totally over for WKU hoops, as the Lady Toppers, with a 70-67 win over Charlotte, will play tomorrow in the semifinals against Old Dominion.

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