Hilltoppers go winless in Global Sports Classic

Matthew Stewart

This past weekend the Hilltoppers took part in the Global Sports Classic tournament in Las Vegas. However, the road trip was not kind to the Tops as the team lost both of its tournament games by a combined 49 points.

First, WKU (3-3) would face off against the University of Washington (4-2). The Huskies were an athletic squad which featured star freshman guard Markelle Fultz who is being considered by many scouting websites as a consensus top-five draft pick in next year’s NBA Draft.

The Tops were to able to hang close with the Huskies in the first half only being down by eight points heading into the halftime 39-31.

Once the second half opened up, Washington was in the driver’s seat. At one point in the second half the Huskies manage to go on a dominating 33-5 scoring run. The Toppers just couldn’t get anything going on offense in the matchup.

Washington shut down the Tops on the offensive end of the floor as WKU was held to their lowest point total of the entire season as the Huskies would go on to win by a final score of 86-47.

The Toppers were led by senior guard Que Johnson with 12 points. The only other Toppers to finish in double figures were seniors Anton Waters and Pancake Thomas with 11 and 12 points, respectively.

Senior forward Ben Lawson managed to finish with a game-high five blocks in just 15 minutes of play.

WKU had a difficult time taking care of the ball as well as they turned the ball over to the Huskies 15 times in the contest. Washington in comparison only had 10 turnovers in the game.

After falling to Washington on Friday, the Tops took to the hardwood again Saturday evening. The opposition for Saturday’s game was the host school of the tournament, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

WKU struggled out of the gates against the Rebels as UNLV led 21-11 with 6:17 remaining in the first half.

A three pointer from Que Johnson allowed WKU to gain the lead at 24-23. A steady defensive effort managed the Toppers to hold their lead at halftime 30-28.

However, the second half was a much different story as with 5:12 to play the Rebels held a 58-52 lead and didn’t look back.

The Tops lost to UNLV by 10 points by a final score of 71-61.

Que Johnson led the way once again for the Toppers with 16 points followed by Thomas and Waters with 13 and 10, respectively. Justin Johnson finished with the only WKU double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.

Up next for the Toppers will be a rivalry matchup with Eastern Kentucky University this Wednesday night at 7 p.m in Richmond.

Reporter Matthew Stewart can be reached at 270-745-6281 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @MES_WKU22.