Jackson hits game winner as WKU rallies over Arkansas-Little Rock, 79-78

WKU’s Trency Jackson drives to the net as The Hilltoppers take on Murray State at E.A. Diddle Arena on Saturday, December 21, 2013. Western would go on to win their sixth straight home game 71-64.

Elliott Pratt

Just over halfway into the second half, WKU’s win streak looked to be in jeopardy.

But the Hilltoppers’ slogan of “Never Say Never” once again bailed them out of a 13-point hole, and Trency Jackson hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to keep the streak alive with a 79-78 win over Arkansas-Little Rock Saturday night.

Jackson got the inbound pass with 3.7 seconds left and raced up the side of the court for the wide open shot.  Senior Brandon Harris hit his own triple with five seconds left to pull the Toppers within one, 77-76.

UALR’s Josh Hagins split a pair of free throws before Jackson’s game winning shot – the Trojans missed five free throws in the final three minutes of the game.  

Jackson led WKU (16-7, 8-2 Sun Belt Conference) with 20 points and Harris followed with 15 of his own. Junior forward George Fant found foul trouble in the second half and only posted nine points and four rebounds.

Hagins was the most efficient shooter of anyone on the floor with seven made baskets on 11 shots and finished with 20 points for UALR.

WKU put up 30 three-point shot attempts and only made 12, but it was the last two that mattered for the Toppers. The Trojans shot an impressive 70 percent from behind the arc.

WKU will round out its final trip to Arkansas in the Sun Belt tour with a game at Arkansas State Monday night at 7 p.m.