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Texas State (6-14) at Western Kentucky (14-7)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 8 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326) -- Bowling Green, Kentucky. Television: WKU PBS, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Texas State 3-6, WKU 9-3. Away Record: Texas State 1-7, WKU 5-4. Neutral Record: Texas State 2-1, WKU 0-0. Conference Record: Texas State 2-5, WKU 6-2. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: Two teams on opposite ends of the Sun Belt Conference standings will meet up at E.A. Diddle Arena on Saturday night, as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers play host to the Texas State Bobcats.

Texas State had lost three straight prior to its most recent home bout versus Troy last Saturday, which it took down, 73-65. Despite that triumph, the Bobcats have endured a disappointing first season in the Sun Belt, going 2-5 in league play and just 6-14 overall.

WKU meanwhile, has been red-hot with four consecutive victories, including a 77-72 triumph over Texas-Arlington on Thursday night to move to 6-2 in conference action, good enough for second place in the Sun Belt behind only unbeaten Georgia State. The Hilltoppers have won two-thirds of their games overall (14-7) and have played especially well at home (9-3).

This marks the first-ever meeting between the Bobcats and the Hilltoppers on the hardwood.

The Bobcats carried a four-point lead into intermission of their most recent game and never surrendered that advantage in the second half en route to the eight-point victory, as they shot a lofty 51.9 percent from the field while allowing Troy to net only 38 percent of its field goal tries. Emani Gant shined in the victory despite playing just 27 minutes before fouling out, shooting 9-of-13 from the floor for 21 points. Joel Wright tallied a double- double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Phil Hawkins poured in 13 points.

Texas State typically struggles on the offensive end of the floor, shooting 44.3 percent from the field and just 66.1 percent at the free-throw line for 63.1 ppg, which all but negates an impressive scoring defense (66.4 ppg). Wright is the catalyst with 14.6 ppg and 6.5 rpg, while Gant (10.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg) makes good on greater than 58 percent of his attempts from the floor.

The Hilltoppers pulled off their biggest comeback of the season in their latest contest, overcoming a 15-point first-half deficit to conquer the five- point decision over UTA. They shot 45.1 percent from the field, and while they made good on just 59 percent of their free-throw tries, they still outscored their opponent from the stripe, 23-15. T.J. Price led the way with 21 points and four assists, Chris Harrison-Docks netted 17 points on 4-of-6 from 3-point range and George Fant scored 11.

On the season, WKU shoots a lowly 41.6 percent from the field while allowing opponents to shoot 43.4 percent, but it is still able to boast a +2.8 scoring margin by draining 7.4 3-pointers per game and consistently winning the battle on the glass (+4.5 rebounding margin). Price pours in 17.0 ppg, with a large portion of his damage coming from beyond the arc (57-of-153). Fant is a mainstay in the frontcourt with 13.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg and nearly a block and a steal per contest. Harrison-Docks scores 10.5 ppg but does so on a mere 37.3 percent from the field.

WKU's hot streak doesn't appear in jeopardy in this one going up against the underwhelming Bobcats at home. Expect the Hilltoppers to continue their surge up the standings.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Kentucky 72, Texas State 60

02/01 11:57:56 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
Final
NYY 5
TOR 2
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
Final
BAL 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
Final
ATL 2
NYM 10
Final
TAM 5
CWS 10
Final
MIN 2
CLE 7
Final
KAN 5
DET 2
Final
HOU 8
SEA 3
Final
CHC 5
LOS 8
Final
ANA 1
TEX 2
Final
OAK 8
PHI 6
Final
COL 8
ARI 3
Final
SDP 8
SFG 2
Final
STL 2
CIN 7
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
WAS 1
BUF 0
Final
CLB 4
STL 3
Final
EDM 3
CAL 1
Final
CAL 1
EDM 0
1:30pm Today
NYI
OTT
 
6:00pm Tonight
NYI
OTT
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
MIN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
ANA
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
LOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
Final
PHI 37
WAS 34
Final
ARI 23
SFX 14
Final
SEA 26
DEN 20
Final
MIA 15
KAN 34
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
8:30pm Tonight
NYJ
CHI