If there was anything approaching doubt, there should be none any longer. Western Kentucky went to Norfolk and beat a good Old Dominion squad. The Hilltoppers got ODU down early but the Monarchs, being said good team, came back and led by two at half-time.
In the first half Justin Johnson was making everything from three on his way to a 5/7 night from deep. In the second half Darius Thompson carried more of the load and he finished with 24, second only to Johnson’s 25.
Much heralded newcomers Moustapha Diagne and Josh Anderson played big minutes (17, and 19 respectively) but did not impact the game. The twain finished scoreless.
One concern for WKU coming into this season was that they would be a shortened team. All that time without Diagne and Anderson helped, as tonight they were a three-man team — in scoring — and were unfazed.
Old Dominion slowed the game and forced turnovers that resulted in easy looks, but there was not enough scoring — or defense — to stop the Hilltoppers. The crowd was decent, nothing like the old crowd of “back in the day” fame, but it received praise. It did not help win the game for the Monarchs.
Ahmad Caver shot poorly, finishing 4/16 including 0/5 from deep and 14 points. BJ Smith managed 17 on 7/13 shooting and 3/4 from three. Brandon Smith had a double-double: 12 points 11 rebounds.
Old Dominion did not shoot well, and that will be frustrating for them looking back on this game, but WKU had a couple of talented kids not play well also, and so each team can play “What if?”
WKU travels to Charlotte to play the 49ers on Saturday.
Old Dominion is hosting Marshall in another big game.
Charlotte lost to Marshall 91-83.
UAB 86 USM 75: UAB hosted USM and the rout was on for a good portion of the game until Southern Miss make a little comeback to keep it within 10. Hattiesburg-American
Marshall 91 Charlotte 83: Yet another track meet game for Marshall as CJ Burks had 32 on 12/19 shooting and 7 rebounds. Jon Elmore added 19. Both guys shot 4/7 from three. Charlotte’s Jon Davis had an incredible 38 points on 12/23 shooting. Charlotte Observer.
FIU 79 UTSA 76: FIU led this one from start to finish and put up 47 first-half points. UTSA’s Jhivvan Jackson had 22 points but on 5/15 shooting including 3/11 from deep and added three turnovers. He managed 9/11 at the line, however. This was a fairly bad loss for UTSA at home. SAEN
FAU 73 UTEP 66: Out in El Paso FAU pulled off the Florida sweep of the UT system schools. UTEP’s Keith Frazier returned to put up no points in 8 minutes. After Tim Floyd quit, there was still some hope that the Miners could manage to keep things decent. This loss prompted some twitter complaints.