WKU Outlasts The Mean Green 77-70 In SBC Semifinals
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (3/9/09) ? It was a battle of the Sun Belt Conference heavyweights between North Texas and Western Kentucky (23-8) but the Toppers were able to outlast North Texas 77-70 in the semifinals at the Summit Arena. Despite 20 points from
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (3/9/09) It was a battle of the Sun Belt Conference heavyweights between North Texas and Western Kentucky (23-8) but the Toppers were able to outlast North Texas 77-70 in the semifinals at the Summit Arena. Despite 20 points from Dominique Johnson and 14 points from Adam McCoy the Mean Green (20-12) was unable to advance to its second conference title game in the last three years.
Western Kentucky opened the game with a quick 9-2 run but the Mean Green battled back with an 11-4 run of its own to tie the game up at 13-13 with 13:36 in the first half. North Texas then exploded with a 13-0 run to open up its largest lead of the game at 36-28 with 4 minutes to play in the half.
At the break it was a three-point lead for the Mean Green at 38-35, but to begin the second half the Toppers put the brakes on the Mean Green’s 3-point attack. The Mean Green hit six first half 3-pointers but was only 4-of-17 in the second half.
The game slowed to a pace that favored the Hilltoppers and they too a 49-46 lead with 11 minutes left in the game. The lead grew to 58-53 with under six minutes to play when back-to-back turnovers by Western Kentucky resulted in five straight Mean Green points to tie the game for the fifth time.
However it was A.J. Slaughter for Western Kentucky who hit consecutive 3-point baskets to give the Toppers a 64-58 lead with under four minutes to play. The Mean Green kept fighting to the end, cutting it to a four-point game at 74-70 with less than 20 seconds, but it was free throws down the stretch that iced the game for the Hilltoppers.