WKU Basketball: Tops Fall at #25 Washington in Season Opener, 73–55
The Tops played a close, hard fought game against #25 Washington in Seattle to kick things off this year but weren’t able to get keep momentum in the second half and lost, 73–55.
Jared Savage shined bright in his first regular season game as Hilltopper with 15 points on 3- of-7 shooting from downtown along with six rebounds and six assists while Taveion Hollingsworth finished with 14 points.
Charles Bassey had 12 points and 11 rebounds in his first career game. He had some good moments but eventually fouled out toward the very end of the game.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was Marek Nelson, who started in the absence of Desean Murray, grabbing ten points and played some big minutes.
WKU started off slow against Washington’s 2–3 zone defense but once their stars Noah Dickerson and Matisse Thybulle got in foul trouble, they were able to get things going. The Tops even ended the first half on a 20–2 scoring run and lead at the half, 36–27.
The second half would be a different story, however. WKU struggled to score and with Dickerson and Thybulle back on the court, they were able to lock in on both ends of the floor, turning the game into a swat fest and were able to pull away to win the game.
Dickerson finished with 18 points and six rebounds while Thybulle got seven points but six blocks.
This game was a tale of two halves for the Tops who got red hot toward the end of the first but weren’t able to establish any offense in the second. The Tops are a really young team with several new pieces and you could see that immaturity with Dalano Banton, who struggled tremendously running point in his first collegiate game.
Once this team starts to gel and gets two of its key pieces back in Bearden and Murray, the sky should be the limit for this team. The first half showed what this team is capable of while the second showed where they need to improve.
WKU will now prepare for their home opener against UT-Martin this Saturday in E.A. Diddle Arena.