The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Survive Second Half Push From UTEP, Win 65-62

Western Kentucky University

BOWLING GREEN, KY -- Western Kentucky (10-11, 4-4 C-USA) snaps a four game skid with a thrilling 65-62 win over UTEP (5-14, 3-4 C-USA) on Thursday night.

The Hilltoppers seemed unstoppable in the first half thanks to the play of senior G Pancake Thomas. Thomas went a perfect 100 percent on his first five three point shots. The Baton Rouge, LA native finished with 25 points on the game, and nailed seven shots from beyond the three-point line.

The Hilltoppers took a 46-29 lead into the second half following a made three-pointer from junior F Justin Johnson.

The Miners fought their way back into contention in the second half. With just over seven and half minutes remaining in regulation, the Miners cut WKU’s lead to 59-54. UTEP’s resurgence was brought to life by seven-foot big man Matt Willms.

Willms dropped a career high 27 points on the night to help the Miners fight back. Despite 15 points from Omega Harris, and 14 from Dominic Artis, UTEP fell short of completing their comeback. The Miners entered Thursday night’s competition riding a three game active win streak.   

UTEP struggled from beyond the arc in this one, shooting just 13.3 percent versus 33.3 for WKU.

The Miners will try returning to the winning track on Saturday, Jan. 28 against Marshall (13-8, 6-2 C-USA). WKU will also be in action this weekend, as they host UTSA (9-11, 4-3 C-USA) in E. A. Diddle Arena.