Tops crush Campbellsville for second exhibition win

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Western Kentucky moved to 2-0 in its exhibition season despite having just seven available players once again.

The Hilltoppers rolled to a 92-51 victory over visiting Campbellsville inside E.A. Diddle Arena in front of a crowd of 2,789. Redshirt-junior point guard Lamonte Bearden remained inactive with an ankle injury while redshirt-sophomore forward Moustpaha Diagne and freshman guard Josh Anderson are still awaiting NCAA clearance.

No matter, WKU pulled away early after being up just 19-17 at the 10:27 mark of the first half. Campbellsville, the alma mater of Western coach Rick Stansbury, never got any closer.

Freshman Taveion Hollingsworth led the Hilltoppers in scoring for a second straight outing with 20 and had seven steals. Senior forward Dwight Coleby added 13 points and 10 rebounds and freshman forward Marek Nelson chipped in 10 on 5 of 5 shooting.

Senior point guard Darius Thompson finished with seven assists and 12 points and freshman guard Jake Ohmer had 18 points. Senior forward Justin Johnson grabbed 16 rebounds to go along with 16 points.

The Hilltoppers will wrap up exhibition season at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Cumberland University out of Lebanon, Tenn.

Western Kentucky raced out to a 15-7 lead thanks to three early steals and three assists. A Hollingsworth layup followed by a Coleby layup helped WKU maintain an eight-point lead and then a streaking Ohmer finished an easy layup to put the advantage at 17-7.

Campbellsville went more than two minutes without scoring while the Tops stretched the lead to 19-7. But a three-point play from Adam Stanford, 3-ball from Tim Coleman and layup by Coleman suddenly made it a 19-15 score.

After Coleman’s driving score from the right side got CU within 19-17, back-to-back scores from Coleby upped the WKU lead back to 23-17. Coleby’s slam followed by a Hollingsworth layup off a turnover forced a Tigers’ timeout at 30-17.

Western’s margin ballooned to 46-24 on back-to-back lobs from Thompson to Nelson, each wowing the home faithful. The Tops went into the locker room leading 48-24 after shooting 56.4 percent, totaling 10 assists and eight steals and winning the rebounding battle 24-14.

It was much of the same at the start of the second 20 minutes.

Hollingsworth's dunk – the freshman high-fived a court-side fan afterward – made it 57-26 and Thompson’s drive through the teeth of the defense before a one-handed jam pushed the margin to 63-27 with 15 1/2 minutes to go.

The contest was virtually decided by that point.

Coleman had 18 to pace CU in its first regulation action of the season.

— Follow WBKO sportswriter Chad Bishop on Twitter @MrChadBishop