WKU’s second half comeback extends their C-USA run


Tucker Covey

Junior forward Tyrone Marshall Jr. (24) makes a dunk during the matchup with UAB in E.A. Diddle Arena on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. WKU lost 72-60.

Cole McIntire

WKU Men’s Basketball (17-15, 8-12 C-USA) defeated the University of Texas at El Paso Miners (14-18, 7-13 C-USA) 73-67 in the first round of the C-USA Championship on Wednesday, March 8 at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas. 

WKU rallied in the second half to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament. 

The Hilltoppers were 42.6% from the field and 36.8% from three. WKU was out-rebounded by UTEP 44-35. On the defensive side of the ball, WKU tallied six blocks and six steals. 

Senior center Jamrion Sharp led the red and white with 16 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Jordan Rawls provided a spark from the bench with 11 points. 

In the first half, WKU fell behind early. With 12:10 left, UTEP held a 22-6 lead. The Miners were impressive, hitting consistent shots and slowing down WKU’s offense. 

The Hilltoppers closed the first half with a 9-4 run, making the score 34-28. 

WKU shot a 55% field goal percentage in the second half . They were 3-7 from behind the arc. 

The Hilltoppers and Miners went back and forth between the 15 and 10 minute marks. At 9:33, junior guard Dayvion McKnight scored to make the score 39-37. 

The Hilltoppers never let go of their lead. 

Akot hit a three with 46 seconds left to extend the game out of reach, giving WKU an eight point lead. WKU outscored FAU 45-33 in the second half. 

The Hilltoppers will play the Florida Atlantic University Owls in the C-USA Quarterfinal on Thursday, March 9 at 5:30 p.m. CST. 


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