Men's Basketball

Toppers fall in Harper's debut

Justin Wright scored 17 points and Troy rallied to beat host Western Kentucky 67-65 on Saturday.

It was Western Kentucky's first game under interim coach Ray Harper. The Hilltoppers fired former coach Ken McDonald on Friday after a 5-11 start and a controversial ending to a loss on Thursday against Louisiana-Lafayette.

The 5,172 fans at E.A. Diddle Arena were the most to see a Sun Belt Conference game there in nearly two years.

Troy (6-9, 1-3 Sun Belt Conference), which trailed 36-30 at halftime, opened the second half with a 28-8 run to take a 58-44 lead with 10:38 left to play. Wright capped the run with a three-point play.

Western Kentucky (6-11, 1-3) fought back to tie the game 65-all but both teams went scoreless over the final 2:25 until Tim Owens knocked down a jumper with 4 seconds remaining to win the game.

No. 19 Murray State 87, Austin Peay 75: Isaiah Canaan scored 35 points to keep Murray State unbeaten with a victory at Austin Peay. Canaan scored the first 16 points for the Racers (16-0, 4-0), who tied the best start in school history — matching the 1935-36 squad. He hit seven of his eight three-point attempts.

Murray State hit eight threes in the first half to build a 17-point lead before the Governors rallied with an 11-1 run shortly before the end of the half.

Ed Daniel had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Racers, who are one of three unbeaten teams left this season. Syracuse and Baylor also haven't lost.

Josh Terry scored 16 points to lead the Governors (3-13, 0-3).

Eastern Kentucky 63, Southeast Missouri 59: Jaron Jones made a free throw with 23 seconds left and the senior guard scored the last eight points of the game for host Eastern Kentucky, leading the Colonels over Southeast Missouri.

Eastern Kentucky (10-7, 4-1 Ohio Valley Conference) held the Redhawks (8-8, 3-1) scoreless over the last two minutes.

Joshua Jones finished with 20 points and became the 31st Colonel in program history to score 1,000 career points.

Eastern shot 83 percent (20-of-24) from the free-throw line. Southeast Missouri was just 31 percent (4-of-13) from the line.

St. Catharine 70, Pikeville 67: St. Catharine (7-6, 3-2 Mid-South) scored the final 12 points and rallied past host Pikeville. The Bearcats (10-6, 2-4) were held scoreless after taking a 67-58 lead with 3:36 to play.

Defiance 74, Transylvania 64: Ethan Spurlin scored a game-high 27 points for Transylvania (11-2), but it wasn't enough to prevent an upset loss at Defiance (5-8). Spurlin, who also had nine rebounds, came within a bucket of his career high.

Lindsey Wilson 73, Rio Grande 70: Chase Cox hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 30 seconds to play, and visiting Lindsey Wilson rallied from a 70-61 deficit in the final two minutes. Chase Spreen led Lindsey Wilson (11-4, 3-1 Mid-South) with 17 points. Shaun Gunnell had 20 for Rio Grande (9-6, 1-3).

Georgetown 90, Shawnee State 67: Maurice Pearson had his ninth double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds, and host Georgetown (14-2, 5-0 Mid-South) rolled past Shawnee State (7-8, 2-3).

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