WKU Women’s and Men’s Basketball fall to MTSU

WKU+senior+center+Jamarion+Sharp+%2833%29+makes+a+shot+during+the+season+opener+against+Kentucky+State+University+in+E.A.+Diddle+Arena+on+Saturday%2C+Nov.+12%2C+2022.+WKU+won+127-61.

Tucker Covey

WKU senior center Jamarion Sharp (33) makes a shot during the season opener against Kentucky State University in E.A. Diddle Arena on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. WKU won 127-61.

Molly St. Clair

WKU Women’s and Men’s Basketball faced MTSU on Saturday.

Returning home, WKU Women’s Basketball (4-7) took on the Middle Tennessee State University Lightning (10-2). The New Year’s Eve match-up took place in E.A. Diddle Arena.

Junior Guard Aaliyah Pitts led WKU in points with 21 overall and two assists. Freshman guard Acacia Hayes collected 19 points in the game. Sophomore forward Jaylin Foster also had a strong game with seven rebounds, three assists and five points.

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As a team, WKU shot 70.6% in free throws and was 38.8% for field goals.

Throughout most of the game, the match-up consisted of close play. WKU immediately pulled ahead with a free throw from Hayes followed by a jumper from Pitts, 3-0. Later, a layup from Junior guard Teresa Faustino created WKU’s biggest lead of the game with a score of 18-9 in the first quarter.

MTSU closed the gap in the second quarter. A three-pointer from MTSU’s sophomore guard Jalynn Gregory made it a one point game of 29-28. Despite consistent pressure from MTSU, the Hilltoppers kept the lead going into the half, 40-38.

WKU stayed up in score until mid third quarter when MTSU took their first lead of the game with a layup from MTSU’s sophomore guard Courtney Blakely. However, the Hilltoppers continued to press the Lightning. 

The game continued neck-and-neck until the fourth quarter when MTSU created their largest lead of 11 points with a score of 73-62. The Hilltoppers continued to close the gap, but ultimately, MTSU defeated WKU 80-75.

WKU Women’s Basketball will return to the court Jan. 5 in Denton, Texas to face University of North Texas.

Across the border, WKU Men’s Basketball also rivaled MTSU in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Senior guard Emmanuel Akot led the team with 14 points. Senior center Jamarion Sharp also had a strong game with eight rebounds and four blocks. Junior guard Dayvion McKnight followed his teammates with six assists in the game.

As a team, the Hilltoppers went 40% for freethrows. WKU also had a field goal percentage of 40.7%.

WKU began the game strong with a 7-0 run. After a three pointer from Akot, MTSU responded quickly to gain some ground, 11-8. Later, with a score of 15-10, the rivals were at a stand still until Sharp made a free throw, forcing the teams back into play.

The men kept their lead through the first half and headed into the locker room with a score of 27-19. 

MTSU started the second half strong with a six point run to narrow WKU’s lead to one point, 27-26. MTSU took their first lead in the game at 36-34.

Throughout the rest of the half, the play remained close. MTSU was able to pull away near the end of the game to take a seven point lead. MTSU defeated the Hilltoppers with a score of 65-60.

WKU Men’s Basketball will continue their season Jan. 5 in a match-up against University of North Texas in E.A. Diddle Arena.