Wednesday, December 20, 2023


In a game that showcased the sheer dominance of Bowling Green (6-2), the No. 7 ranked Purples secured a convincing 73-62 victory over No. 18 Harlan County (7-1), advancing to the quarterfinals.

M.J. Wardlow of Bowling Green emerged as the standout player, earning the Central Bank Player of the Game honors with a game-high 25 points. His performance was a critical factor in the Purples' success.

The game's turning point came in the second half when Bowling Green extended their lead significantly. Just two minutes into the half, the Purples had a 10-point advantage at 46-36.

Harlan County, showing resilience, managed to narrow the gap. Jaycee Carter played a key role in this effort, with his 3-pointer reducing the deficit to just one point at 48-47 in the third quarter. Carter's contribution, including a pair of free throws, was pivotal in keeping Harlan County in contention.

However, Bowling Green's response was swift and decisive. A 15-2 run by the Purples reestablished their dominance, pushing the score to 69-55. This run effectively put the game out of reach for Harlan County.

The Purples' victory was not just a showcase of individual brilliance but also of collective effort. The team's seniors, M.J. Wardlow and Mason Ritter (13 points), along with junior guard Deuce Bailey (13 points), played significant roles.

In contrast, Harlan County, despite their efforts and the impressive play of senior guard Trent Noah (20 points) and junior guard Maddox Huff (17 points), could not overcome the challenge posed by Bowling Green. The Black Bears' fight was commendable, but the day belonged to the Purples.

[Click to View Box Score]

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