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WKU Basketball defeats Murray St in 89th all-time matchup

Dominic Di Palermo
Guard Don McHenry (2) goes after a defensive rebound during a game against the Kentucky Wesleyan College Panthers in the Diddle arena on Monday Nov. 6, 2023.

The Hilltoppers traveled to Murray, Kentucky to take on the Racers in the 89th edition of the in-state rivalry Tuesday. Coming off of a road loss to Wichita State on Thursday, WKU was eager to add themselves back into the win column, and that they did with a 86-81 victory. 

After an 0-21 performance from behind the three-point line for the Hilltoppers in Wichita, it seemingly became bulletin board material for WKU, as they opened up the game going 4-8 from beyond the arch. 

It was the Hilltoppers inability to keep their hands to themselves that kept the Racers in it for the 1st Half, as Murray State received nine trips to the charity stripe, cashing 13 points off of their 18 attempts throughout the 1st Half. 

The Racers entered the 2nd Half as an entirely different team, turning their nine-point deficit into a 3-point lead in the first five minutes of play.

The game was all grit after that, as the Hilltoppers and Racers traded leads, and their share in ties until ultimately the Hilltopper offense became too much for the Racers to handle, as even in foul trouble, WKU pulled out an 86-81 victory.

It was junior Don McHenry who put it out of reach for Murray State as the Guard put up 22 points to accompany his 3 rebounds and a Hilltopper victory.

When asked about the first road win of the Steve Lutz regime at Western, Coach Lutz had an interesting response.

“It’s bittersweet,” Coach Lutz said, “Obviously, Steve Prohm, a good friend of mine, so you never want good people to have bad things happen to them, but I’m a competitor too. I came in here to break their home winning streak and that was one of the focuses tonight.”

WKU hopes to continue their winning ways against Kentucky State at home on Saturday.

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