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February 24, 2013

Tops Rage Against The Cajuns With a 88-77 Victory

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BOOM! There was an offensive explosion Saturday night as the Hilltoppers shot 63% (17-27) from the field and 60% (6-10) from beyond the three-point arc in the first half that helped WKU build a 53-36 halftime lead at the CajunDome.

The Ragin' Cajuns began to mount a furious comeback at the beginning of the second half with an 11-2 run that pulled Lafayette to within eight points at 55-47 with 16:28 remaining. Dynamic sophomore Elfrid Payton put in work, scoring eight of those points during that run.

But alas, junior guard Brandon Harris had enough of the Cajuns comeback efforts and morphed into three-point "beast" mode, nailing three straight from beyond the magic arc to smash the rally efforts of the CajunDomers.

The Hilltoppers were able to secure an 88-77 victory. T.J. Price led WKU in scoring with 23 points while Jamal Crook added 21 points and six assists. Brandon Harris scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds and despite early foul trouble, George Fant chipped in 15 points and nine rebounds.

WKU improves to 15-14 overall, 9-9 in the Sun Belt Conference.

Player of the Game: Kene Anyigbo. He was a spark of hustle off the bench by grabbing rebounds, chasing loose balls, and dropping dimes. Anyigbo logged in a season-high 19 minutes of action that saw him accumulate four points, four assists, six rebounds, and tons of hustlin' credits.

Price on Fire-ah: T.J. Price was torching the nylon in the first half like a vintage game of NBA Jam, swishing four from the luscious land of three on his way to 18 points in the first 20-minutes of action. Price also did a stellar job of getting to the basket and drawing contact in the first stanza, sinking six free-throws.

More Assists, Less Turnovers: Usually a recipe for success, but the Hilltoppers have struggled with this stat all year. Fortunately, the offense was clicking on all cylinders on Saturday night as the Tops dished out 15 assists and only had nine turnovers.

Other Significant Stats: WKU shot 50% (10-20) from three-point range. The Hilltoppers bench was huge, outscoring the Ragin' Cajuns 24-8. The good guys shot 81.5% (22-27) from the charity stripe. In typical fashion, WKU out-rebounded the Cajuns by a 38-30 margin.

Next Up: South Alabama. The Jaguars had a bounce-back 69-57 home win over North Texas on Saturday after getting hammered by the mighty Blue Raiders earlier in the week. South Al is 16-10 overall and set in second place in the Sun Belt Conference with a 13-5 record.

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