HOUSTON, Texas — WKU Hilltopper Basketball used a fast start Saturday to record the
44th 20-win season in program history with an 85-66 road victory over Rice.
The Hilltoppers (20-7, 12-2 Conference USA) scored the first 10 points of the game
and led by as much as 19 before the break. They shot 55.9 percent from the floor and
made 10 of 18 3-pointers on their way to their best conference start through 14
games since 2007-08.
WKU is ranked seventh in NCAA history in 20-win seasons. Only Kentucky, North
Carolina, Duke, Louisville, UCLA and Kansas have more.
It also marks the 11th 20-win season in Rick Stansbury’s 16 seasons as a head coach.
Senior guard Darius Thompson flirted with a triple-double with 18 points, 10 assists
and seven rebounds, and senior forward Justin Johnson added 16 points and 13
rebounds to the rout.
Senior forward Dwight Coleby and freshman guard Josh Anderson each scored 12 points,
and redshirt junior guard Lamonte Bearden finished with 11 points. Freshman guard
Jake Ohmer scored nine points with three 3-pointers.
Rice (5-22, 2-12) cut into the Hilltoppers’ 48-31 halftime lead early in the second
half, but WKU went on a 17-2 run to seize control.
Freshman forward Marek Nelson’s 3-pointer with 3:49 to go gave the Tops their
largest lead of the day at 82-54.
WKU tallied 19 assists against just eight turnovers and outrebounded Rice 37-27. The
Hilltoppers outscored the Owls 44-22 in the paint.
Malik Osborne paced Rice with 15 points.
The Hilltoppers head back to Bowling Green for their final two home games of the
regular season, starting with Charlotte at 7 p.m. CT Thursday at E.A. Diddle Arena.
How to follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper
Basketball, follow the team’s social media channels, @WKUBasketball on Twitter,
@WKUBasketball on Instagram, and WKU Basketball on Facebook.