Four Hilltoppers were in double figures Thursday night at E.A. Diddle Arena, as WKU won its 11th-straight home game to improve to 3-0 in Sun Belt Conference play with a 76-63 win over FIU. George Fant and Kevin Kaspar notched career highs with 24 and 17 points, respectively, and 13 Hilltoppers saw action in the team effort. The Hilltoppers are now 9-5 overall on the season, and FIU drops to 4-6 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
The Hilltopper men's basketball team begins Sun Belt Conference play Thursday night, as WKU and FIU meet at E.A. Diddle Arena to begin the stretch of the final 18 games in the conference schedule.
WKU enters the game on a three-game slide, with all of the losses coming away from home, but the Hilltoppers have won 10-straight games at E.A. Diddle Arena and four conference games in a row.
The Hilltoppers have won eight of the last nine games against the Panthers, and WKU’s best all-time winning percentage against any conference opponent comes against FIU (28-5, .848). A win on Thursday would make WKU 3-0 in Sun Belt Conference play for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign.
Thursday’s game brings with it a special ceremony, as the court at E.A. Diddle Arena will be named in honor of legendary Hilltopper John Oldham.
Central Michigan scored what proved to be a game-winning touchdown with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and a fourth-down pass play for WKU fell incomplete as the Hilltoppers fell 24-21 Wednesday night in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field.
WKU ended the 2012 season with a 7-6 record, playing in the first Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision game in school history.
"I am so proud of this group. The have been through so much in the last few weeks," said WKU interim head coach Lance Guidry. "I'm proud of the way we played tonight. We left some plays out of the field that might have changed the outcome, but sometimes that's how the cookie crumbles."