WKU to face ASU for spot in tournament finals

Lucas Aulbach

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — WKU will take on Arkansas State tonight at 9 p.m. with a spot in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship on the line.

While the Toppers came out ahead in a close game Saturday night, the Red Wolves also had to win a tight one in order to secure a spot in the semifinals.

ASU (19-11, 13-6 SBC) beat Troy 68-63 in overtime Saturday night in its first game of the conference tournament — with the No. 2 seed in the tournament, the Red Wolves had a first-round bye to start the week.

The Toppers faced ASU twice this season, falling in both games by totals of 14 and 18 points.

WKU (18-15, 12-10 SBC) will have the benefit of playing with a full deck of cards this time around, though. Senior guard Jamal Crook, who leads WKU in assists per game with 4.3 while averaging 12.2 points and 1.5 steals, was out with a broken foot in both meetings between the teams.

 The Red Wolves have been beating teams though the turnover battle — ASU has the best turnover margin in the Sun Belt at +3.07, .50 more than the closest competition.

That doesn’t bode well for the Toppers, who had 497 turnovers this season, the most in the conference.

The two teams will tip off at 9 p.m. Sunday at Summit Arena.