Hilltoppers Best Herd, 81-62

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - T.J. Price piled up 25 points on 8-13 shooting, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range, to lift the Western Kentucky men's basketball team to an 81-62 win over visiting Marshall Sunday afternoon at E.A. Diddle Arena. The game was the Conference USA opener for both schools.


The Hilltoppers improved to 8-5 overall, while the Thundering Herd dropped to 4-10.

WKU's DJ Clayton chipped in 15 points, while George Fant added 14 and 12 rebounds in the double-double effort. Price also amassed eight assists and four steals.

Marshall was led by Ryan Taylor's 15 points, 10 of which came at the free throw line, where he missed just twice. Aleksa Nikolic also had 10 points, as did Austin Loop. Nikolic added eight rebounds for the second straight game. He also led the team in assists with three and Tamron Manning had a solid defensive outing with five steals.

WKU won the rebounding battle 44-35, held an 18-6 advantage in assists and a 32-18 margin on points in the paint.

The Herd held the lead for the game's first seven and a half minutes before Fant's jumper at the 12:26 mark gave the Hilltoppers the lead for good at 13-12.

Loop chopped the lead back to four (27-23) on a pair of free throws with 5:32 left in the half, but the home team pushed the lead back to 10 (39-29) at the half.

WKU gradually pulled away in the second half, leading by as many as 32 (79-47) on two free throws by Brandon Price with 4:16 left. However, the Herd mounted a charge, scoring 15 of the game's last 17 points down the stretch.

The Hilltoppers shot 50% (15-30) from the floor in the second half, while Marshall shot just 25.8% (8-31).

The Herd returns for a pair of games this week when Old Dominion visits Thursday evening and Charlotte enters the Henderson Center Saturday. Both games are at 7 p.m. ET.
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