BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The Hilltopper men's basketball team was back in action Monday night for the first time since the NCAA Tournament last March, and the squad rolled to an 84-46 exhibition win over Campbellsville in front of 3,671 fans after leading 49-19 at the half.
The Hilltoppers have now won 17-straight exhibition games, dating back to a 2002-03 loss to the Harlem Globetrotters, and WKU is 48-4 all-time in preseason tune-ups.
Four Hilltoppers were in double figures on the night, led by George Fant's 20 and Jamal Crook's 16. Fant added eight rebounds and five steals, and T.J. Price had 14 points and seven rebounds as well. Kene Anyigbo played 16 solid minutes and contributed 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and grabbed six rebounds.
Addison Smith was the lone Tiger in double figures with 11. Malik Thomas had nine rebounds for Campbellsville, who is receiving votes in the NAIA Division I Preseason Top 25 Coaches' Poll.
WKU went on a 28-7 run to end the first half and take a 30-point lead into the locker room. Fant had 11 first-half points in 10 minutes, and four of his game-high five steals came in the first 20 minutes of the game. The Hilltoppers shot 48.7 percent (19-for-39) from the field in the first half and forced 11 Campbellsville turnovers.
The Hilltoppers took their largest lead of the game at 38 with 1:42 remaining in the game en route to the 84-46 win. For the game, WKU shot 47.1 percent and held Campbellsville to 24.6 percent shooting from the field (16-for-65). The Hilltopper defense forced 24 turnovers, and WKU committed just 11 themselves and had 10 assists.
All 14 available Hilltoppers saw action in the game, with nine scoring.
Campbellsville never led in the game. WKU saw 33 of its 84 points come off the 24 Campbellsville turnovers, and the Hilltoppers outscored the Tigers in the paint, 44-20.
WKU returns to action Saturday night at 7:00 when it faces Kentucky Wesleyan in the second and final exhibition game of the preseason.