BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — An 18-1 lead to start the game proved to be more than enough for WKU Saturday night at E.A. Diddle Arena, as the Hilltopper led wire-to-wire and defeated ULM, 72-63. WKU improves to 18-9 overall and 10-4 in Sun Belt Conference play with the win, and ULM drops to 8-14 overall and 5-9 in league games.
Trency Jackson led all scorers with a career-high 25 points, and Daouda Soumaoro made his first-career start and grabbed a career-best eight rebounds in 27 minutes. Chris Harrison-Docks had 15 points, and George Fant added nine points and seven rebounds. ULM was led by Tylor Ongwae's 19 points.
Sixty of WKU's 72 points (83.3 percent) came from players other than Fant and T.J. Price, WKU's Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Team selections.
A PDF Box Score, Postgame Notes and Postgame Quotes are attached.
WKU exploded out of the gate, scoring 18 of the game's first 19 points and starting 7-for-10 from the floor while ULM missed its first eight field goals. The Warhawks hit their first field goal at the 11:01 mark of the first half, but after that WKU missed six-straight field goals and ULM cut it within seven at 18-11.
WKU took a 39-24 lead into the break after shooting 44.1 percent in the first half (15-for-34). Jackson led all scorers with 12 points, and Harrison-Docks followed with eight tallies. The Hilltoppers led the battle of the boards, 25-14.
ULM trimmed the 15-point deficit to eight after just three-and-a-half minutes elapsed in the second half, but the Warhawks would get no closer than that as the clock wound down with WKU maintaining a double-digit lead for most of the second half.
The Hilltoppers finished the game shooting 39.7 percent as a team (23-for-58), and ULM converted at a 42.9 percent clip (21-for-49). WKU had its best rebounding advantage of the season at plus-15, 43-28, and the Hilltoppers had just six turnovers after having only five the last time out against South Alabama.
The Hilltoppers never trailed in the game for the second time in the last three contests.
WKU has now beaten ULM in seven-straight meetings dating back to the 2010-11 season and has never lost to the Warhawks in Bowling Green.
WKU hits the road next week for two games in Texas, beginning Thursday at 7:00 PM (CT) at Texas State. Thursday's game will be televised on WKU PBS in the Bowling Green area. It will also be broadcast on the radio on the Hilltopper IMG Sports Network, airing locally in Bowling Green on WKLX-FM Sam 100.7, with Randy Lee and Hal Schmitt on the call.
WKU plays its final home game of the 2013-14 regular season on Thursday, March 6 against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Tickets for the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Tournament are now on sale through the WKU Ticket Office. Each ticket book contains eight tickets. There are a total of eight sessions, with sessions 1-6 including two games each. Session seven featuring the women's championship game, and session eight is the men's championship game. Ticket books cost $99.00, and seats are general admission. To purchase tickets please contact the WKU Ticket Office at 1-800-5-BIG RED or 745-5222 locally, or order online at WKUSports.com.