WKU Men’s Basketball: Tops rout Charlotte 68-50 to begin Conference USA play

Hilltoppers drain season-high 12 3-pointers in win

CHARLOTTE, N.C. WKU Hilltopper Basketball set a season high for made 3-pointers and took control early on the road, opening Conference USA play with a 68-50 win at Charlotte on Thursday.

The Hilltoppers (8-6, 1-0 C-USA) netted 12 shots from long range, their most in a game since also hitting 12 against Southern Miss on Dec. 30, 2017.

WKU has won 10 of its last 12 conference openers – including three straight under head coach Rick Stansbury, who won his 50th game at the helm of the Hilltoppers.

“We haven’t been able to sub all year long at the level we subbed tonight,” Stansbury said. “I basically took those starters out around the 15-minute mark. I know we scored the first 11 of 15 possessions coming out of halftime, and I think they scored twice. I have a bunch of guys who sat over there in tight games who needed to play.”

All 10 Hilltoppers who played scored, led by redshirt junior Jared Savage’s 13 points.

But no starter played more than 29 minutes, and WKU got 23 points off its bench.

Sophomore guard Jake Ohmer led the charge from the reserves, netting a career-high four 3-pointers for 12 points in 26 minutes.

“Last game, I got in and hit one, so I’ve been in the gym working,” Ohmer said. “I’ve been trying to prove myself and get back in a rhythm and play more.”

Freshman center Charles Bassey finished with 11 points, five rebounds and two blocks, while freshman guard Dalano Banton added 10 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Both freshman guard Jeremiah Gambrell and redshirt junior forward Moustapha Diagne made their first career 3-pointers as Hilltoppers.

“It was good for us, the way we came out today – especially in the second half,” Diagne said. “Everybody contributed and then we got stops, so it was good for us.”

Trailing 17-15 at the 7:24 mark of the first half, WKU went on a 14-2 run to pull in front 29-19, capped by back-to-back 3s from Savage and Ohmer.

The Hilltoppers led 34-25 at the break and used a 17-4 run in the second half to quickly run that lead to 48-29. They eventually led by as much as 25 with 5:12 to play.

WKU shot 50 percent from the field, outrebounded Charlotte 35-23 and tallied 14 assists.