Western Kentucky beats Alabama State 79-66

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) Que Johnson scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Western Kentucky led all the way to beat Alabama State 79-66 in a season opener on Saturday night.

Johnson was 5 of 9 from the field including three from distance for the Hilltoppers. Pancake Thomas added 15 points and four assists. Justin Johnson and Junior Lomomba had nine points apiece.

After a slow start for both teams, Que Johnson sank a 3-pointer to lift the Hilltoppers to a 17-4 lead with 10:09 to play in the first period. They were up 34-17 at the break.

Though they trailed the entire game, the Hornets finished out the final 3:24 with a 12-2 surge that trimmed Western Kentucky's 23-point lead to 13. It was not enough, however, and the Hilltoppers held on for the win.

Rodney Simeon led Alabama State with 25 points, including seven 3-pointers.