North Texas (5-7, 0-1 SBC) vs.Western Kentucky (9-5, 3-0
Dec. 29, 2012 • 7:00 p.m.
Bowling Green, Ky. • E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326)
Radio: MGRN - 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM
TV: HSSN (ESPN Full Court – DirecTV channel 724)
Series: WKU leads 13-5
Last Meeting: WKU 74-70 on 3/6/12 (SBC Tournament Finals)
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – North Texas and Western Kentucky have
dominated the Sun Belt basketball landscape in recent years, and Saturday night’s
matchup in Bowling Green is slated to be another classic after the Hilltoppers
took last year’s SBC Final over the Mean Green.
The Hilltopper Satellite Sports Network will carry all the
action, which is available on the ESPN Full Court package (DirecTV channel
724), and ESPN3 will webcast the game. Hank Dickenson will have the call for
the Mean Green Radio Network.
At least one of these two programs has advanced to the SBC
Tournament finals in each of the last seven seasons, with each team playing in
four championship games in that span. NT, playing in its third straight finals,
fell to WKU, 74-70, in the 2012 championship game.
Always a tough arena to play in, North Texas is 2-6 all-time
in WKU’s E.A. Diddle Arena, although NT has won two of its last four games at
the historic venue. Jacob Holmen is the only NT player left from the Mean
Green’s last trip to E.A. Diddle on Feb. 12, 2011, and the sophomore had 14
points on 7-of-11 shooting.
Against Lehigh last week, Tony Mitchell became just the second
player in North Texas history to reach the century mark in blocks. The
sophomore has 101 career blocks (2.9 per game), and has his eyes set on Jeffrey
Simpson’s school record of 119 from 2004-06.
Thanks to Tony Benford’s policy of treasuring every possession
North Texas is among the best in the nation in turnover margin. NT ranks 63rd
in the country and third in the Sun Belt with a +2.8 assist-to-turnover ratio,
while NT’s 12.6 turnovers per game rank second in the SBC and 76th in the NCAA.