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February 23, 2009WKU sophomore forward Sergio Kerusch has been named the Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday afternoon. It is the second selection in the past six weeks for the Memphis, Tenn. native and the fourth for the Hilltoppers this season, setting a new school record. Kerusch represents the 46th selection for the Toppers in 26 years of SBC affiliation.
A.J. Slaughter (Dec. 2) and Orlando Mendez-Valdez (Jan. 5) also garnered SBC Player of the Week accolades this season for WKU.
In leading WKU to a pair of big Sun Belt wins this week, Kerusch posted back-to-back doubles, averaging 22.0 points and 11.5 rebounds as the Hilltoppers regained sole possession of first place in the East Division standings and are in the driver's seat for the number one seed in the SBC Tournament.
The sophomore newcomer for the Hilltoppers connected on 15-of-26 shots from the field for 57.7 percent and 11-of-13 free throw attempts for 84.6 percent. With two double doubles, the January 19 Player of the Week raised his team-leading total to seven as half of Kerusch's 23 boards came on the offensive glass.
In Thursday's important road win at UALR, giving the Toppers a season sweep of the Trojans, Kerusch scored 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. On Saturday, in WKU's historic home win over FIU, the 1,600th in the 90-year history of Hilltopper Basketball, Kerusch led the way with a career-high 26 points and 12 rebounds. The 26-point performance was the third highest single game outing by a Topper this season behind Steffphon Pettigrew's 28 and 27 points.
Kerusch currently ranks third in the Sun Belt Conference in rebounding at 7.0 rpg and is 27th in scoring at 11.0 ppg.
WKU will put its unbeaten home record on the line Thursday, February 26 when the Hilltoppers host Florida Atlantic at 7:00 PM at Diddle Arena. In addition to "Senior Night" festivities, WKU will be going for its 14th-straight home win and trying to punctuate the program's eighth undefeated home season in 46 years of play at Diddle Arena.