WKU Men’s Basketball falls to Rice University


Alexandra Hendricks

WKU senior forward Jarius Hamilton attempts a basket during the game against the Rice Owls on Jan. 13, 2022.

Chaz Mackey

WKU Men’s Basketball (14-13, 6-10 C-USA) lost a pivotal game to Rice University (17-10, 8-8 C-USA) Saturday, Feb. 18 with a score of 83-77 at the Tudor Fieldhouse.

Leading the way for the Hilltoppers was Junior guard Dayvion McKnight with 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Sixth Year guard Emmanuel Akot also contributed with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Junior guard Dontaie Allen followed with 12 points and six rebounds.

WKU missed their first seven shots out of the gate while the Owls shot an efficient 71% from the field (10-14). This in turn gave the Owls a 25-9 lead before forcing the Hilltoppers to call a timeout at the 11-minute mark.

After the timeout, things seemed to pick up. The Hilltoppers went on a 11-0 run cutting the lead down to nine (36-27). Rice answered with a 7-0 run, pushing the lead back to 16 (43-27) at the half.

In the first half, Rice shot 51% from the field with seven of their 13 attempted three pointers falling (53%) to WKU’s 34.5% and four of 16 behind the arc (25%).

To open the second half, WKU caught wind again on a 13-2 run to get them within striking distance to take the lead (48-42). However, the Owls always responded quickly, hitting shots and keeping WKU away.

Down the stretch the lead was cut down to five but due to time, the Hilltoppers resulted to fouling. The Owls scored 14 points from the charity stripe to close out the game.

WKU will host the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (13-14, 6-10 C-USA) at the E.A. Diddle Arena on Thursday, Feb. 23 8p.m. CST. This is one of their final two home games to close out the 2022-2023 regular season.

Sports reporter Chaz Mackey can be reached at [email protected] .