WKU falls to Louisiana Tech 72-65 in NIT quarterfinal

WKU falls to Louisiana Tech 72-65 in NIT quarterfinal
WKU is banning tobacco and vaping products beginning Jan. 1 on all properties owned, operated, leased, occupied or controlled by Western. (Source: Western Kentucky University)

(WAVE) - Western Kentucky saw it’s season come to an end on Thursday night in Frisco, Texas, in the quarterfinals of the NIT. Fellow C-USA member Louisiana Tech handed the Toppers a 72-65 loss.

A Jordan Rawls lob to Charles Bassey for a dunk ignited a 10-0 Toppers run late in the first half. Taveion Hollingsworth capped off the run with a three-pointer for a 31-27 WKU lead.

The Bulldogs answered, closing the final 3:24 of the half with a 12-0 run.

Cobe Williams closed it out with a deep three with 28.9 seconds left to provide the 39-31 Tech halftime advantage.

A Jordan Rawls three-pointer got WKU within 45-43 with 14:55 left but Isaiah Crawford answered with a quick three to increase the lead back to five.

Rawls led the Toppers with 20 points. Bassey added 15 and 16 rebounds.

WKU made one more run, Josh Anderson’s jumper got them within 64-60 with 2:21 left.

LA Tech responded again. A Crawford jumper in the lane increased their advantage to six, and he was fouled. He missed the free throw, but on the ensuing Toppers possession, freshman Kenny Lofton, Jr, stole a pass intended for Bassey and the big fella sailed in for a slam to make it 68-60.

Anderson hit a three-pointer with 25.7 seconds left to narrow the deficit to 70-65, and when the WKU pressure forced a steal, Luke Frampton got a great look at a three from the top of the key, but it bounced off the front of the rim and the threat was over.

Kalob Ledoux led the Bulldogs with 20 points, including 6-7 from three.

WKU’s season ends at 21-8. LA Tech improves to 23-7 and advances to an NIT semifinal on Saturday against Mississippi State. Colorado St. and Memphis will meet in the other semi.

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