WKU Hilltopper Basketball will vie for its first conference championship since 2013 when it takes on Marshall at 7:30 p.m. CT Saturday in Frisco, Texas.
The third-seeded Hilltoppers are looking to claim their 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance, as well as head coach Rick Stansbury’s seventh NCAA tourney berth.
WKU won the two regular-season meetings against No. 4 seed Marshall and leads the all-time series 15-10.
Stansbury is 2-2 in his career against the Thundering Herd and 18-13 all-time in conference tourney play.
Conference USA Basketball Championship Final
No. 3 WKU (24-9) vs. No. 4 Marshall (23-10)
March 10, 2018 | 7:30 p.m. CT
Ford Center at The Star | Frisco, Texas
Listen: Hilltopper IMG Sports Network (WKLX 100.7 FM flagship), WKUSports.tv (free), TuneIn Radio (free) (Randy Lee, pxp | Hal Schmitt, analysis)
Watch: CBS Sports Network (Carter Blackburn, pxp | Pete Gillen, analysis | Jamie Erdahl, sideline)
Live Stats: Conference USA Stats
• WKU is 9-4 in conference championship games since joining the Sun Belt Conference in 1983.
• WKU has 10 wins this season against programs with at least 20 victories: Old Dominion (3 times), UAB (2), Marshall (2), Purdue (1), Wright State (1) and Nicholls (1).
• The Hilltoppers’ 24 wins and 14 conference victories are both their most since 2008-09.
• WKU’s 98 points against UAB in the quarterfinals were the team’s most in a conference tournament game since scoring 99 in a double overtime win over Charlotte in the 1987 Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The 28-point victory was the Tops’ largest margin of victory in a conference tournament win since a 100-65 victory over Middle Tennessee in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament in 1964-65.
• WKU has made at least one 3-pointer in 971 consecutive games, dating back to March 15, 1987. The 3-point shot was instituted prior to the 1986-87 season. The Hilltoppers’ streak is the sixth-longest in the nation behind Kentucky, UNLV, Vanderbilt, Duke and Arkansas.
• WKU’s current scoring average of 78.8 points per game would be the program’s highest since 1994-95.
• WKU ranks in the top 10 in the country in field goal percentage and first in Conference USA at 49.8 percent. That percentage would rank eighth for a single season in program history.
• WKU is tied with Villanova for the national lead with 11 games shooting 55 percent or better this season.
• The Hilltoppers have outscored their opponents 1,318-955 in the paint this season.
• Taveion Hollingsworth has scored in double figures in 22 of the last 27 games, and the freshman is the team’s second-leading scorer over the last 12 outings at 15.1 points per game.
• Justin Johnson is on pace to become the first Hilltopper to lead the team in both scoring and rebounding in three straight seasons since Jim McDaniels did it from 1968-71.
• Justin Johnson leads C-USA in rebounding at 9.5 boards per game. He could become the first player to lead the league in rebounding average in back-to-back years since Memphis’ Joey Dorsey from 2006-08.
• As of Thursday, Justin Johnson was ranked eighth among active NCAA players for career rebounds and tied for ninth in career double-doubles. Johnson is the only active player in the nation with at least 1,600 career points and 1,000 rebounds.
• Justin Johnson is ranked 14th on WKU’s all-time scoring list with 1,618 career points. He needs four points to pass George Fant to move into 13th.
• Justin Johnson ranks fifth on WKU’s all-time rebounding list with 1,011 career boards. Johnson is one of five Hilltoppers in program history ranked in the top 15 in scoring and the top 10 in rebounding.
• Justin Johnson is the fifth player in WKU history with 1,000 career points and 1,000 rebounds, joining Tom Marshall, Art Spoelstra, Ralph Crosthwaite and Jim McDaniels, the last to accomplish the feat in 1971.
LAST MEETING WITH MARSHALL: JANUARY 27, 2018