BLOG: Arkansas State 81, WKU 73 (final)

Chris Wilson/Herald

Zach Greenwell

The Toppers (5-7) enter Sun Belt Conference play trying to put a rocky non-conference slate behind them, including their 114-82 loss to Louisville on Dec. 22. The second half of WKU’s season begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, when it travels to Arkansas State. The Herald can’t be in Jonesboro, Ark., but follow along here for periodical updates throughout the game.

ASU 81, WKU 73 — Final

WKU cut its deficit to 76-71, but Pettigrew missed an open layup, and the Toppers failed to get a rebound on a missed FT by ASU. The Red Wolves then made five free throws to ice the game.

The Toppers fall to 5-8 on the season and 0-1 in the Sun Belt. Look for more later at

ASU 76, WKU 68 — :57 2nd

Sorry for the break in updates, had some technical difficulties. WKU clawed back within four at 72-68, but ASU has scored four straight points.

Unless the Toppers have a big comeback in them, they’ll drop to 0-1 in the Sun Belt.

ASU 67, WKU 57 — 7:30 2nd

The Toppers are in trouble late in Jonesboro. The Red Wolves have answered every charge from WKU, and Trey Finn can’t be stopped with 27 points.

How good is it going for Finn? He didn’t even score his last basket. Three Toppers knocked the ball into the ASU basket on a missed shot and it was credited to Finn.

ASU 57, WKU 52 — 11:40 2nd

After falling behind by seven, the Tops got a big stretch from Juan Pattillo, in which the senior scored seven straight points for WKU. Crook hits a layup before the under-12 to pull WKU back within five.

ASU 50, WKU 43 — 15:39 2nd

The Red Wolves scored 10 of the first 14 points of the second half to take a seven-point lead.

ASU 40, WKU 39 — Half

After leading by as many as 10 early, WKU heads into halftime down by one.

Sergio Kerusch and ASU’s Trey Finn each have 17 points. Both players have only missed one shot.

Steffphon Pettigrew has nine points for the Toppers, and Jamal Crook has six points, three assists and just one turnover.

ASU 33, WKU 32 — 3:45 1st

ASU scores four straight points and takes its first lead on a putback dunk by Jeremy Thomas.

After a fast start, the Toppers have gone over three minutes since their last field goal, and the turnovers have started to pick up as well.

WKU 32, ASU 29  — 6:57 1st

This game’s being played at a feverish pace, but the Toppers are clinging to a three-point lead.

WKU has had to overcome the lights-out shooting of Trey Finn, who has 15 points with four 3-pointers for ASU.

Kerusch leads WKU with 12 points.

WKU 23, ASU 17 — 11:18 1st

The Red Wolves cut WKU’s lead to two, but a steal and layup by Crook gives the Toppers a six-point advantage at the under-12. Crook has looked solid so far, playing with more confidence than usual.

Trey Finn has been hot for ASU so far, knocking down three 3-pointers and a free throw for 10 points.

WKU 17, ASU 10 — 14:20 1st

WKU is off to a hot start, up seven at the first media timeout. Sergio Kerusch has made his first three shots and leads with eight points.

The Toppers have also got solid point guard play so far, as Jamal Crook has made both of his early field goal attempts. Kahlil McDonald has also come in to play the point and knocked down a 3-pointer.

Pregame — Starters for WKU: Jamal Crook, Caden Dickerson, Sergio Kerusch, Steffphon Pettigrew and Cliff Dixon.

**WKU announced Saturday that freshman guard Brandon Peters is academically ineligible for the rest of the season.

The team said in a statement that Peters is still with the team, enrolled for the second semester and will practice, but will play in no more games this season.

Peters, who recently took over at point guard after the dismissal of Ken Brown, has started nine games this season and averaged 6.5 points and 1.9 assists.

The Toppers are now left with sophomore Jamal Crook and freshman walk-on Mike Gabbard at point guard. Junior shooting guard Kahlil McDonald has also spent some time at the position this year.