BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU Hilltopper Basketball shot 56.3 percent from the field and scored 34 points off turnovers Tuesday, rolling to a 91-66 exhibition victory over Campbellsville at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Sophomore guard Josh Anderson led all scorers with 22 points to go along with six steals and five assists, and redshirt junior guard/forward Jared Savage added 19 points, six rebounds and four assists in his Hilltopper debut.
WKU is now 59-4 all-time in preseason exhibition games, and the Hilltoppers have won 27 straight preseason tune-ups dating back to a 2002-03 loss to the Harlem Globetrotters.
“This game is what you expect a little bit,” WKU head coach Rick Stansbury said. “I didn’t think we had great flow, but we played a lot of different lineups and a lot of different people. … Again, there’s a lot of things to work on and that’s why we play this game.”
The Hilltoppers outscored Campbellsville 52-18 in the paint, 34-13 off turnovers and 24-4 on the fast break. They recorded 14 steals and eight blocks.
Graduate senior forward Desean Murray scored 14 points, and freshman center Charles Bassey notched a double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
Freshman guard Dalano Banton chipped in nine points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals off the bench. Sophomore guard Jake Ohmer scored eight points with four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two charges taken in a starting role.
WKU and Campbellsville traded the lead early in the first half, but the Hilltoppers built a 41-31 lead at the 3:42 mark with a 10-3 run, capped by back-to-back 3s from Ohmer.
The Hilltoppers led 47-39 at halftime, and Anderson scored nine straight points by himself early in the second half to expand the cushion.
“I felt like it was going pretty good,” Anderson said. “I had some trouble at first with my emotions, and getting caught up in the crowd, but I feel like if we keep it going throughout the season we’re going to get better and better.”
Savage scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half as WKU eventually pushed its lead as large as 27 with 3:14 to go.
Campbellsville netted 10 of 23 3-pointers in the first half, but went just 3 of 12 from behind the arc in the second half and shot 36.5 percent for the game. Hagen Tyler paced the Tigers with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
“I think they had 30 of their points come from 3-pointers in the first half, so we had to run their shooters off the line,” Savage said. “They can shoot it really good, so we had to just get out there and contest shots, and that worked in the second half.”
The Hilltoppers play their final exhibition against Kentucky Wesleyan at 2 p.m. CT Saturday. The game is officially a sellout.
“We announced a sellout, tickets are sold out,” Stansbury said. “But if you’re not going to be there, find a way to put butts in those seats. Come Saturday, everyone who bought that ticket, show up if you can, but make sure to put someone in that seat. There’s a lot of people calling who want tickets. We appreciate everyone who’ve bought them and let’s continue to build this thing, let’s continue to make the excitement in this arena something that we can all feed off of and make this one of the most difficult places in the country to come play in.”
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