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Hot Shooting Hilltoppers Beat Cajuns, 88-77

Western Kentucky is not known as a great three point shooting team.  However, at the Cajundome Saturday night, you wouldn’t have known it.

The Hilltoppers shot 63 percent from the field in the first half, including 6-10 from three point range in rolling past Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns 88-77,. before 2,947 at the Cajundome.

WKU (15-14, 9-9 Sun Belt) used that hot shooting to lead by as many as 19 points in the first half and settled into a 53-36 lead at halftime.

T. J. Price was the first half catalyst, hitting 4-5 from three point range and scored 18 first half points.  Teammate George Fant did the damage inside with15 first half points and seven rebounds.  WKU led by eight with 7:54 to go in the first half, but then went on a 13-2 run, including three triples by Price, to take their biggest lead of the game, 43-24 with 4:56 left.

Elfrid Payton scored fifteen in the first half for the Cajuns en route to a career high 31 points, but the Cajuns were just 2-10 from beyond the arc in the first half.

Louisiana (11-18, 7-11) tried to get back in the game in the second half, starting with an 11-2 run to cut the Toppers Lead to 55-47.  Payton scored eight of the 11 points during that run.  But WKU got more hot three point shooting, this time from Brandon Harris, who scored all of his 16 points after intermission.  Point guard Jamal Crook had 21 points in the game.

Shawn Long had his Sun Belt leading 16th double double of the season for Louisiana.  Bryant Mbamalu was just 3-10 shooting, but scored eleven points while Elridge Moore added ten.

It was the final home game for senior guard Alan-Michael Thompson, who was honored in pre-game ceremonies.

Louisiana now wraps up the season with two straight road games, beginning Thursday night against Arkansas-Little Rock at the Jack Stephens Center beginning at 7:30pm.

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