Recap: WKU 62, Bowling Green 52

Toppers improve to 3-3 overall, hand BGSU (4-1) their first loss of the season.

Three Hilltoppers finished in double figures, as Western Kentucky defeated visiting Bowling Green 62-52 on Wednesday night.

It was the first loss of the season for the Falcons, who trailed only 54-52 with 1:29 to play, before the Toppers closed the game on a 8-0 run.

"Great basketball game," WKU head coach Ray Harper said. "One of those 'grind it out' games, which we knew it was going to be--that's how they like to play.

"I think we were only the second team that's played them that's scored 60 or more, everyone else they've held in the 50's. We had some great looks, didn't go down, but we were able to hold them to 34 percent, field goal percentage. So, lot of positives, especially on the defensive end for us."

Sophomore Ben Lawson had the best night of his young career, scoring 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field (4-for-4 free throws,) in addition to 7 rebounds and altering several Falcon shots.

The 7-foot-1 center was key in WKU's game-ending run, first securing a big rebound with under 1:00 to play, then hitting two clutch free throws, pushing the Toppers lead to 58-52 with :51 remaining.

He followed with an easy dunk on an outlet pass from senior forward George Fant, then intercepted a BGSU pass with :17 seconds left, helping WKU seal the win.

His length also disrupted BGSU forward Richaun Holmes much of the evening, as Holmes--usually BGSU's leading scorer--finished only 1-for-5 from the field with 5 turnovers.

"He (Holmes) got a lot of attention," Harper said. "Ben's 7'1 with a 7'5 wingspan, Ben did a great job of not getting angled in the post, making him score over him.

"You know Holmes is 6'8, he (Ben's) 7'1, and when he raises his arms, that's a tough shot for him. George, I thought him and Justin were active off the ball, got some blocked shots. We didn't let him (Holmes) get comfortable. We've had a tendency with some post guys early on in the season, where we just we didn't do our work early, let them catch the ball too deep in the post. We didn't do that tonight, we did our work early and got him out of his comfort zone. Credit a lot goes to Ben, but it was a team effort."

Fant added 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting, and senior guard T.J Price contributed 13 points on 4-for-8 shooting, in addition to 8 rebounds.

As many positive takeaways as there were on the evening, turnovers continued to plague the Toppers--as they have much of the season--with WKU coughing the ball up 19 times.

"We had a stretch where we just, gosh, we just made some careless passes," Harper said. "We gotta just continue to watch film and drill it--Play off two feet, pass-fake.

"We did some of it, don't get me wrnog, but we still gotta get better. That's the biggest area of concern for me right now is the turnovers, and trying to get those corrected."

Next opponent for WKU is a rivalry road trip to Murray State (3-4) on Saturday, with tipoff scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT.

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