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NCAAB: Western Kentucky takes down Louisville to break series skid

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Camron Justice scored 25 points and Jamarion Sharp had 14 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots as Western Kentucky broke a nine-game series losing streak with an 82-72 nonconference victory over Louisville on Saturday in Bowling Green, Ky.

Dayvion McKnight had 13 points and nine assists, Josh Anderson had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Jairus Hamilton scored 13 points for the Hilltoppers (8-4), who also beat Mississippi in Atlanta earlier this month. The Hilltoppers’ last win over the Cardinals also was at home, 68-54 on Nov. 30, 2008.

Noah Locke led Louisville (7-4) with 20 points. Mason Faulkner added 12 and Matt Cross had 10.

The game marked the first time Louisville played on the Hilltoppers’ home court since Dec. 20, 2014, when the Cardinals won, 76-67.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was in attendance. The state and this area were ravaged by deadly tornadoes earlier this month.

WKU led 46-37 at halftime and increased its lead to 13 before the Cardinals rallied. A 15-4 run capped by Locke’s trey cut the deficit to 54-52 with 15:03 to go in the game. However, Justice’s three-point play returned the momentum to the hosts and began a 7-0 run that gave Western Kentucky a 61-52 lead.

Justice stole the ball from Faulkner on that key play, went in for a layup and was fouled by El Ellis.

Louisville got as close as five twice after that, but couldn’t make it a one-possession game.

The Hilltoppers started quickly, with 3-pointers by Luke Frampton and Justice staking them to a quick 6-0 lead. Louisville never tied the score or took the lead.

The Hilltoppers eventually went ahead 20-7 on a dunk by Sharp off an alley-oop pass from Hamilton.

Back-to-back treys by Ellis and Faulkner trimmed the Cardinals’ deficit to 20-13 with 11:58 to go in the half. Locke’s three later in the half got Louisville even closer, cutting WKU’s lead to 28-25 with nine minutes to go.

But the Hilltoppers responded with an 8-0 run, including three points each by McKnight and Anderson, to push the lead back to 36-25 with 5:23 left in the half.

–Field Level Media

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