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November 18, 2008

Shooting off, but Tops hold on 62-48

For the first 5:01 of the game, Campbellsville couldn't buy a basket.

In fact, the Tigers were ice cold, save for four three-pointers until they made another field goal with 2:07 left in the first half. WKU capitalized, opening the game on a 12-0 run.

But Campbellsville found their stroke in the second half, putting a scare into WKU before the Toppers held on for a 62-48 win.

"I thought we did some good things," coach Ken McDonald said. "I thought out energy was good, for a longer period of time, than our last outing. We didn't sustain it in the second half. We lot is a little bit and that might be because we're not playing a lot of guys. I thought the energy was really good. We definitely had better ball pressure, we rebounded the ball pretty good and some guys stepped up and are starting to get a little more acclimated with things. It's hard for the new guys. There's so many things going in, so many schemes and so many different new rules and regulations."

With sophomore guard A.J. Slaughter sitting out the second of his two-game suspension, scoring was harder to come by for the Toppers. WKU shot just 39.7 percent for the game on 25-63 shooting.

Junior forward Jeremy Evans had the most efficient night, with 16 points on 5-8 shooting and 6-8 free throws.

"Just to handle the ball, we have to make sure we take care of it," Evans said. "With A.J., we have leadership. We just look to him, just to put up points and score."

Luckily for WKU, Campbellsville had even more trouble finding the basket. The Tigers shot just 34.6 percent, but hung around on seven made three-pointers. They attempted 23.

But thanks to a 44-34 rebounding edge, the Toppers were able to maintain a slight cushion throughout the game.

WKU built up a 22 point lead on a layup by sophomore forward D.J. Magley for a 34-12 advantage. Campbellsville got as close as ten points on a couple of occasions, the last being at 50-40 with 8:55 left in the game, but got no closer.

Sophomore guard Sergio Kerusch was the Toppers' biggest threat on the boards, grabbing 12 rebounds to go along with 11 points.

"I couldn't have done it without my teammates," Kerusch said. "We would all jump for the ball and the ball get tipped around, til somebody got it and I was just the lucky person to go and get it."

WKU also went with a different starting lineup, with senior forward Mike Walker getting the nod over Magley. With Magley also seeing just 13 minutes of action, in which he had eight points and four rebounds, senior forward Matt Maresca had a bigger role, with six points and four rebounds.

"Going into the game, I didn't know how much I'd play, if it'd be as much," Maresca said. "Coach told me before that I was gonna see some playing time. I hadn't played a lot because I'd been injured and been out for a while. I've been just trying to work myself back in. I sit over there, ready to go, for whatever they ask me to do. I'm ready at any time to give myself for my teammates, to help us get a win."

The Toppers travel to Murray State for a 7 pm tip-off Saturday.




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