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February 5, 2009
Tops Lead Throughout in 64-55 Win
MONROE, La.-- Entering Thursday night's contest, Western Kentucky (16-7, 10-2) had won five of its last six. The good news for ULM though, was that those six games had been decided by five points of less. This night though, the 23 Hilltopper points off ULM's 17 turnovers seemed to be the difference, as ULM (7-15, 3-8) fell at home 64-55.
ULM's Sophomore Center Rudy Turner continued to show he resounding presence in the paint, as he collected team highs with 15 points and seven rebounds. His performance marked a rebound from his previous two outings which saw him score a combined nine points.
"Their defense played extremely tough, and that made it hard to counter," Turner said about the Hilltoppers. "Their defense held up, and we couldn't score like we are use to."
Joining Turner in double-digit scoring for the game was Lawrence Gilbert with 10 and Dynile Forbes with 13.
The Hilltoppers dominated the scoring totals though, as A.J. Slaughter scored a game high 20 points, while Orlando Mendez-Valdez was close behind with 19.
The first half saw a fairly close back and forth contest, as the Warhawks were able to pull close again to every WKU lead. ULM was never closer than one point in the half, when WKU led 8-7 at the 16:33 mark and again 10-9 at the 15:08 mark.
Hot shooting in the first half by the Hilltoppers was led by All-Conference selection Mendez-Valdez with 12 points. Mendez-Valdez also led his team in rebounding with five.
Forbes paced the Warhawks with 10 first half points, followed by Thomas' six.
Turner collected two blocks in the first half of play. Those moved him into a tie for third place all-time in ULM history.
Senior David Garrison picked up his first points of the season, as he connected on a back door cut lay-up from Forbes. It marked Garrison's first basket since February 2, 2008.
WKU returns home Saturday when they host South Alabama in a nationally televised game on ESPN2 at 1 p.m.