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WKU mens basketball looks to complete season sweep of MTSU

Adin Parks
New Mexico State guard Femi Odukale (11) attempts to break past WKU Forward Babacar Faye (5) in WKU’s Senior Night game against NMSU in the Diddle Arena on Feb. 17.

Coming off  a 72-58 home win against New Mexico State, WKU heads to the Volunteer State on Saturday to take on their long-time rival, Middle Tennessee State.

The game will serve as the 146th iteration of the ‘100 Miles of Hate’ rivalry, with number 145 coming earlier this season in Diddle Arena, where the Hilltoppers took down the Blue Raiders 88-65. 

This game has a bit more history attached to it as well. With the win against MSTU earlier in the season, the Hilltoppers claimed their 99th rivalry victory all-time. Coming into the Murphy’s Center, WKU hopes to claim number 100.

WKU comes into the game on the back of a four-game win streak, bringing the team to a 19-7 record, sitting at third place in the conference with an 8-4 inner conference record.

Since their latest matchup against WKU, the Blue Raiders have gone 3-2, with wins over FIU, UTEP, and New Mexico State, who alongside MTSU, make up the bottom four teams in the conference.

The Hilltoppers average 80.3 points per game, a number that puts them in 44th place in all of division-one basketball. 

The offensive charge is led by Don McHenry. McHenry is averaging 16.1 points on the season, but the guard’s recent run of form has seen the Milwaukee native average 20.3 points per game in his last six contests.

In the last matchup with MSTU, McHenry had 22 points on 53.8% shooting from the field and a season-high 83.3% from three-point land.

The Blue Raiders are led by junior guard Jestin Porter. Just two games ago, in MTSU’s two overtime thriller against UTEP, Porter put up 41 points on nearly 70% shooting, while also being a perfect 8-8 from three. 

Porter had 18 points in the previous game against the Hilltoppers on 43.8% shooting from the field. 

ESPN currently has the Hilltoppers  as 3.5-point favorites, a stark contrast from the team’s 23-point victory at home earlier in the season.

This game tips off at 6:30 and will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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