Toppers drop midnight opener against Wichita State

Tyler Lashbrook

The Toppers trailed by just two points going into halftime but were outscored 36-21 by No. 16 Wichita State in the second half en route to a 66-49 loss on the road early Tuesday morning in WKU’s season opener.

The Toppers shot just 29 percent for the game and 23.3 percent in the elusive second half.

The game started at midnight Monday and continued early into the morning Tuesday as part of ESPN’s 24-hour 2013 college basketball tip-off marathon.

The Shockers hit 14 of its 26 second half shots. WSU sophomore guard Fred VanVleet led all scorers with 17. He also collected five boards and dished out three assists.

WKU sophomore center Alex Rostov and junior guard T.J. Price scored 12 points each, but the Toppers turned the ball over 17 times which resulted in 18 points for the Shockers.

WKU held a 24-19 lead in the first half before the Shockers went on a 11-4 run.

T.J. Price dribbled up the right sideline and pulled up from just beyond the three-point line as time expired. The ball bounced high off the rim and dropped in as the Toppers went into halftime down 30-28.

Wichita State jumped out to a 44-30 lead in the first half, capitalizing on several WKU turnovers and missed shots.

The Toppers cut that lead to nine but couldn’t gain footing as Wichita State ran away with the win.

Following the loss, WKU will head back to Bowling Green for a three-game home stand starting Saturday against East Tennessee State.