Western Kentucky University Athletics

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Hilltopper Basketball broke the single-game 3-point field goals record for men’s basketball at EA Diddle Arena and the overall program on Saturday night when the Hilltoppers knocked down 19 3 in a 127-61 victory over the State of Kentucky.

Nine different Hilltoppers scored at least one 3-pointer throughout the night, tying the NCAA record for the number of different players to score a 3-pointer on a team. The WKU is only the fourth team to accomplish this feat in NCAA men’s basketball history. Previous teams were Dartmouth (1993), Florida (2006 and 2018) and Michigan (2008).

“You have to figure out how you’re going to play this game,” the head coach said Rick Stansbury. “Are you going to use it for better or are we just going to play it and beat them by 30 or 40 and not improve? Our goal was to improve from this game, regardless of the score, and our guys the have done this.”

The Hilltoppers broke the program’s previous record of 16 which came in two different seasons. The 2005-06 team knocked down 16 at UAB and the 2007-08 team knocked down 16 at Troy. WKU broke Diddle Arena’s record which was just reset against them last year when EKU hit 18 3-pointers in December 2021.

WKU became the seventh college basketball team since 2010-11 to shoot 65.5 percent or better from the 3-point line with at least 29 attempts as the Hilltoppers shot 19 of 29 from the arc.
“Everyone stays in the gym shooting all the time,” said Khristian Lander shooting from his teammates. “So you see the hard work pays off.”

“I just want to go out there and compete with those guys,” said Emmanuel Akot. “You can see the talent we have and the way we can throw the ball.”

WKU opened the game on a 37-9 run, allowing just three 3-pointers past the Hilltopper defense. Les Rouge et Blanc continued to widen the gap to 34 points in the first half.

The Thorobreds went on a quick 7-0 run between 3:18 a.m. and 2:25 a.m. Lander helped fend off Kentucky State with a layup, a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer, as well as a dunk of Donaie Allen.

WKU’s 67 points in the first half are believed to be the most points scored in each half by a Hilltopper team since the program’s 1972 season opener where WKU scored 75 in the second half.

The Hilltoppers scored 19 in a row at halftime and another 13 in a row later in the half. WKU’s lead was as high as 68 points during the game.

“The number one place [getting better] started defensively, the effort you play with,” Stansbury said. “It’s easy to play on that score when you’re big. We didn’t do this all night. Our guys stayed focused, they kept working defensively. It’s the most important thing that I’m most satisfied with.”

Akot was shy of a triple-double with 17 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. He is only the second college basketball player since at least 2010-11 to record at least that stat line in 23 minutes or less. The only other was Iowa State’s Monte Morris on November 20, 2016 (17 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists in 22 minutes).

Akot was joined in a double-digit scoreline by jairus hamilton (18 points and 10 rebounds), Luc Frampton (20 points), Dayvision McKnight (16 points), Lander (13 points) and Donaie Allen (15 points). It’s the first time WKU has six players in double figures since beating FIU in Miami in the final game of the 2019-20 season.

WKU continues its homestand with a Tuesday night game against Indianapolis University. The game will switch at 7 p.m. CT and will be streamed live on ESPN+ and televised locally on WKU PBS.

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