WKU men’s basketball sneaks by UTEP


Emilee Arnold

WKU sixth-year Emmanuel Akot (13) looks for a pass option during the matchup with UTEP in E.A. Diddle Arena on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. WKU won 74-69.

Cole McIntire

WKU men’s basketball (16-14, 8-11 C-USA) defeated the University of Texas at El Paso (13-17, 6-13 C-USA) 73-68 on Thursday, March 2 at the Don Haskins Center. 

The Hilltoppers were electric from the field. They shot a 59% field goal percentage. WKU controlled the turnover margin at +2 and created 10 steals. The red and white outrebounded the blue and orange 32-27. 

Junior guard Dayvion McKnight tallied 24 points while shooting 10/16. Senior center Jamarion Sharp led all players with nine rebounds with four on the offensive glass. 

“We trusted each other on the offensive and defensive side,” said McKnight. “Overall we played good.”

The game was closely contested. The largest lead of the game was seven points for WKU at halftime. In the first 10 minutes both teams traded baskets. Senior forward Emmanuel Akot extended the lead to six with a layup. 

UTEP went on a 4-0 run to tie the game at 17 a piece with under seven minutes left in the first half. WKU had a 17-10 run to close the half. 

To open the second half, the competitors traded threes. The Hilltoppers held the lead until the 15 minute mark. Junior guard Tae Hardy hit a shot from behind the arc to give UTEP a 44-43 lead. 

After exchanging baskets, WKU extended their lead to five and maintained it for the remainder of the game. The Hilltoppers were able to control the pace even as the game came to a halt. 

The Hilltoppers will take on North Texas on Saturday, March 4 at 2 p.m. CST. 


Sports reporter Cole McIntire can be reached at [email protected].