WKU’s comeback falls short at Murray State, 93-81

Senior guard T.J. Price (52) makes a layup during WKU’s 63-64 loss against Belmont Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky. Price played all 40 minutes of the game and scored 15 points. Mike Clark/HERALD

Billy Rutledge

After being outscored in the first half, 49-32, WKU (3-4) managed a late comeback, but fell 93-81 at Murray State on Saturday. 

The Hilltoppers battled back to cut the lead to 74-70 with 6:58 remaining, but turnovers and rebounding problems that haunted WKU in the first half allowed the Racers (5-4) to finish the game successfully.

“Definitely a tough stretch in the first half,” Assistant Coach Shawn Forrest said on the IMG Hilltopper Sports Network. “You can’t come out and turn it over like we did; I think we had nine turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the game.”

Four Hilltoppers scored double-digits in Saturday’s loss, including senior guard T.J. Price, who led WKU with 21 points after going 7-11 from the field and 3-4 from three-point range.

Fellow senior forward George Fant scored 19 points, sophomore guard Chris Harrison-Docks scored 15 points while senior guard Trency Jackson finished with 13.

“Definitely proud of the effort they showed tonight in the second half. They could have rolled over, but guys defiantly came out, competed and did a great job,” Forrest said.

Price and Fant notched themselves further up WKU’s all-time scoring list during the contest. Price moved from 19th to 17th all-time while Fant moved to 25th.

“We have to come out and be more aggressive and play harder,” Fant said to the IMG Hilltopper Sports Network. “Western is known for being a good defensive team. We are usually the top defensive team in our conference. We can’t come out here and give them 93 points, and I doubt we ever do it again.”

Murray State also had four players score double-digits, with Cameron Payne and Jarvis Williams each scoring 24 points.

T.J. Sapp finished with 19 points after going 4-4 from three-point range. The Racers ended the game with 11 three-pointers and out-rebounded the Hilltoppers 32-27 while hauling in 15 offensive rebounds.

The Hilltopper’s all-time series record against the Racers stands at 98-54 in WKU’s favor and 30-33 while on the road.

WKU will be on the road in its next matchup, taking on Ole Miss on Dec. 13.