North Texas 81, WKU 62 – FINAL

7 03 2011

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — After a season full of turmoil, on and off the court, the music finally stopped for Western Kentucky on Monday.

The Hilltoppers trailed by one at the half, but were completely outplayed by North Texas over the final 20 minutes, falling 81-62 in the Sun Belt Tournament semifinals at Summit Arena in Hot Springs, Ark.

The loss comes as the final chapter in one of the more difficult years in recent WKU basketball history.

“Where the season ends at 16-16, it’s unacceptable,” WKU coach Ken McDonald said. “It’s unacceptable for our program and we’ll be back.

“But where this could have gone at 5-11, the other way, to think about what could have happened – it says a lot about this team. They didn’t pout, they didn’t do anything but put their heads down and get better and we had a lot of games in the right column at the end of the day.”

WKU’s struggles away from the court this season have been well documented, as McDonald released two players from the team before season’s end for team rule violations and saw another lose eligibility due to  academic failure.

On the floor, things weren’t much better – as WKU started out 5-11 and 0-4 in Sun Belt play for the first time ever.
WKU athletic director Ross Bjork declined comment on the season – or McDonald’s performance in general – after Monday’s game. Senior associate athletic director Todd Stewart told reporters that Bjork will have a season-ending job review of McDonald in the coming days – and comment from there.

Stewart said the time of that review is unclear, but could possibly happen by the end of the week.

“Any comments (Bjork) would make about the season would be most appropriate to take place after that review,” Stewart said.

 

For a full report from Monday’s game, see Tuesday’s Daily News

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