Wooden candidate Courtney Lee had an off night (4-11 from the field). Starting PG Daniel Emerson was saddled with foul trouble (just 9 mins of PT). Against a worthy opponent, the Tops needed a hero and they found one in a young freshman forward that they call "Spider."
Jeremy Evans is 6'9" tall...and weighs 184 pounds. He also possesses a 7'2" wingspan and was a state high jump champion in high school. His tarantula-like appendages serve him well when on the front of the press, tipping in misses, and blocking/altering shots. Last evening, Evans spun a web that netted 18 points and 6 rebs to lead WKU past UAB last night in Diddle Arena. Not only that, but he kept the Toppers afloat when they were struggling late in the first half. He scored 10 straight Topper points during one stretch.
While Evans was the solo star, the real difference in the game was the Topper depth and pace. UAB was gassed fairly early in the second half. Tied at 28 at the half, WKU ripped off a 15-2 run early in the second stanza to take a ten point lead and used another 14-3 run to put the game away. UAB wilted under WKU's fullcourt press and committed 11 2nd half turnovers.
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Last Nights GOI
--at New Mexico 79, New Mexico State 76. This one did not disappoint. The Lobos are off to a 4-0 start.
--at Tulsa 75, Oral Roberts 57. Your love is like a (golden) hurricane.
ACC Big Ten Challenge
--at Duke 53, Indiana 51. It was not pretty, but Duke held on despite allowing Indiana to claw back from a double-digit deficit.
--Maryland 72, at Illinois 67. Terps look like a solid NCAA team to me. Their early resume is packed with wholesome goodness.
--at Wisconsin 81, Florida State 66. Badgers are so tough at Kohl. Read more from Wiscy guy Chris West.
--at Alabama 75, UL-Monroe 61. The Warhawks hung around for a LONG time in this before succumbing to the Tide.
--at Western Kentucky 69, UAB 54. See above.
--Wake Forest at Air Force. Wake took down Bucknell at Sojka, so AFA needs to be on their game to avoid the upset.
--Kansas State at California. The Bears are off to a good start. This is a good resume game for both teams.
--Oregon at Georgetown. Let's see if the Ducks are for real.
--Old Dominion at Marist. Two of the stronger non-power conference teams in the country.
--Iowa State at Northern Iowa. In-state rivalry alert! Plus, ISU coach Greg McDermott faces his old homies. Good stuff.
--TAMU-CC at Oklahoma State. TAMU-CC is the Southland favorite, but going into Gallagher-Iba is never easy.
--Butler at Valparaiso. The Crusaders nearly clipped Marquette's wings. Bulldogs need to be ready.
ACC Big Ten Challenge
--Michigan State at Boston College. Two teams searching for an identity after losing major components from last season.
--Clemson at Minnesota. Tigers are 7-0; Gophers have lost four straight.
--Ohio State at North Carolina. Two teams with very real national title hopes.
--Virginia at Purdue. Two upwardly mobile teams that could be Bubble Boys down the road. That makes this one quite important.
--Colorado State at Denver. Both teams are off to slow starts.
--Arkansas State at Memphis. This could be the longest short trip the Indians make this year.
--North Texas at Nebraska. Two teams off to surprisingly good starts.
--Nevada at UL-Lafayette. The Cajuns took Tennessee to the wire. We'll see what they can do with Nick Fazekas and company.