Hilltoppers won a pair of road games against FAU and FIU to begin league play

WKU begins Conference USA with wins at FAU and FIU

For the fourth time in five years Western Kentucky has opened league play with back-to-back victories. 

WKU received a career-high 14 points from senior Anton Waters, with Pancake Thomas also adding 14 points to pace the Hilltoppers to a come-from-behind 69-66 win at FIU on Monday night.

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The victory over the Panthers capped a two-game road sweep that also included a 15-point win at Florida Atlantic on Saturday.  After opening the season with a 1-7 road record, the outcome of the first two Conference USA road games is a welcome result.

"It’s big for this team, knowing where this team was at and what we’ve been struggling through," Hilltopper head coach Rick Stansbury said. "I do believe this – I do believe all those games we’ve had on the road helped us here tonight. We didn’t panic. We got down nine in that second half with about 11 minutes to go, and we didn’t panic."

With its fourth consecutive win, WKU improves to 8-7 overall, but more importantly have jumped out to a strong start in C-USA play, currently tied with Old Dominion and Marshall atop the standings. 

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"We wanted to come out and make sure for this season we come out on a good note, and I thought we did a good job," senior guard Pancake Thomas said. "We didn’t play good today, but we came together when it mattered, and the bench has really been helping us. It’s big-time when you don’t play well but you can still gut it out and get the win. That’s what it’s about on the road."

The Hilltoppers will host Charlotte on Thursday and welcome Old Dominion to EA Diddle Arena on Saturday.

"Anytime you win on the road, it’s big," senior Justin Johnson said. "We’re calling it our new season right now, so hopefully we can go back home and get two more at home. It’s a chance to protect your home court."


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