WKU Kicks Off Basketball Season with "Hilltopper Hysteria"

By: Brad Fields, WKU Athletic Media Relations
By: Brad Fields, WKU Athletic Media Relations

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Excited Western Kentucky University basketball fans got an up-close-and-personal look at the 2008-09 edition of the Hilltopper and Lady Topper teams on Thursday night at E.A. Diddle Arena. WKU held 90 minutes of "Hilltopper Hysteria" which featured contests, prizes, appearances by Big Red along with the Topperettes and Cheerleaders, and capped off by basketball action from both squads.

In the Lady Topper scrimmage, the Red team held off the White team 18-13 behind a balanced scoring attack. Junior guard Kenzie Rich paced the Red with five points while Hope Brown poured in a game-high 10 in the losing effort.

When the men's team took the floor, under first-year head coach Ken McDonald, the White team went on a 10-2 run over the final 3:50 of the running eight-minute clock to post the come-from-behind 15-10 win. Uros Komadinic led the winning cause with five points while sophomore Steffphon Pettigrew posted four points to lead the Red team.

After each team's scrimmage, the players mingled with fans, shaking hands and signing autographs. Each head coach addressed the fans after the teams were introduced.

In the three-point shooting contest, the team of Rich and WKU student Nathan Holten caught fire in the finals to roll to the 15-10 victory while Sergio Kerusch brought the house down with his final attempt to claim the dunk contest crown. Surprising the crowd, Anthony Sally lobbed in the pass from mid-way up in the stands for a one bounce beauty to Kerusch who slammed home the one-handed attempt.

Earlier in the festivities, women's head basketball coach Mary Taylor Cowles made a presentation on the court to the four winners of the “How Can WKU Help Make My Dreams Come True?” essay and art contest. A winner from the third, fourth, and fifth grades along with the overall winner of the contests were honored. Each received scholarship assistance and a Lady Topper jersey and will be a character in Taylor Cowles’ book “Follow Your Dreams!”

The Hilltoppers will take the floor on Friday, October 31 against LCC International University at Diddle Arena in WKU's first exhibition game while the Lady Toppers host DT3 in their lone exhibition contest on Sunday, November 9.

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