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.
WKU shot 50% in the second half and had just seven second-half turnovers Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., but the 5th-ranked Louisville Cardinals earned a 78-55 win to wrap up WKU's non-conference slate for 2012-13.
A crowd of 10,728 was on-hand to see WKU and Louisville begin a new four-year series of games. The loss is WKU's third-straight, all coming against teams that went a combined 90-19 and won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament a season ago, and drops the Hilltoppers' record to 8-5. Louisville improves to 11-1.
WKU wraps up non-conference play for 2012-13 Saturday night at 7:30 against fifth-ranked Louisville at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
WKU has dropped back-to-back games this week on the road against Murray State and VCU, and Saturday’s game against Louisville will mark the second-straight season WKU has matched up with a Final Four team from the previous year, joining 2011 Final Four participant VCU during WKU’s 2011-12 non-conference schedule.
WKU returns to the scene of a November 30, 2008 win against third-ranked Louisville, where WKU captured a 68-54 victory against the Cardinals behind 25 points from A.J. Slaughter and 17 points and 12 rebounds from Steffphon Pettigrew.
The bad hits just keep on coming for the WKU men's basketball team. Senior point guard Jamal Crook is out 4-6 weeks with a right foot fracture sustained during Sunday's loss at Murray State.
The Courier-Journal reports the injury couldn't come at a worse time, as the Hilltoppers are getting ready to play one of the top teams in the nation, the Louisville Cardinals. WKU head coach Ray Harper says his team is suffering through the worst rash of injuries he's seen in his long coaching career.