Price propels WKU to 75-60 win over Chicago State

Senior guard T.J. Price (52) dribbles out of the lane during the second half of WKU’s game against Austin Peay on Saturday. Price led all scorers with 22 points and was a perfect 4-4 from three-point range as WKU defeated the Governors, 77-70. Brandon Carter/HERALD

Kyle Williams

Following the Hilltoppers’ first road victory over a Southeastern Conference opponent since 2006, WKU began a seven-game homestand on Wednesday night with a 75-60 win over Chicago State behind 29 points from senior guard T.J. Price.

WKU (5-4) has notched nine of its past 11 home games and four of its past five overall after starting the season 1-3.

Price netted nine of his 14 shot attempts and went six-of-nine from beyond the arc in 35 minutes en route to his 29 points. The senior has totaled 76 points (25.3 points per game) in the past three games, all of which have been wins.

Price has allotted three consecutive 20-point games for the first time in his career.

“Another all-around game,” Head Coach Ray Harper said. “(Price) is playing well. He’s just so under control. Forget the 29 points. He had three assists, no turnovers.”

WKU shot 49 percent (23-47) on the night, which included a 48-percent (11-23) clip from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Chris Harrison-Docks chipped in 13 points and redshirt senior guard Trency Jackson added 12 points and five assists.

Chicago State jumped out to an early 10-3 lead within the game’s first four minutes, but the Hilltoppers clawed back within 19-17 with 8:28 left in the first half. An 11-3 run then knotted the game at 22 apiece.

WKU orchestrated a 6-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 37-33 lead into the locker room, which was its largest lead of the game at the time.

The Hilltoppers held a lead for just one minute and 25 seconds in the first period.

Despite a lowly first half, the Hilltoppers led for the entirety of the second half and extended that lead to as much as 15.

WKU’s second game of its seven-game homestand — the longest since it played nine straight in 1935 — will feature the Hilltoppers welcoming Rick Pitino and unblemished No. 4 Louisville.

“We just have to give our best not just for us but for the fans, too,” Price said. “Pretty sure it’s going to be a packed crowd, so we just have to come out with energy, and we should be fine.”

According to Harper, the Hilltoppers — who were outrebounded by seven on Wednesday — will have to correct some miscues and give an all-around effort in order to create problems for the Cardinals on Saturday.

“They’re not one of the best defensive teams in their conference, they’re one of the best defensive teams in the country,” Harper said. “They’re relentless…We’re going to have to have a lot of different guys play well. It can’t be one or two guys.”