Solid shooting leads Hilltoppers past Lindsey Wilson

WKU’s guard Aaron Cosby (2) drives towards the basket during the Hilltopper’s 84-71 win over Lindsey Wilson College on Monday at Diddle Arena.

John Reecer

The WKU men’s basketball team defeated Lindsey Wilson College in front of a home crowd at E. A. Diddle Arena on Monday night by a score of 84-71.  The Hilltoppers shot an accurate 50% from the field in the exhibition game.

Thanks to strong defense in the first half, WKU’s offense got going in transition as the Hilltoppers scored 46 first-half points to take a 19-point lead into halftime over the Blue Raiders.

“I thought we were really good in the first half,” Head Coach Ray Harper said. “That half really gave a glimpse of what we are capable of because we really shared the ball and made the extra pass.”

In the first half the Hilltoppers got a huge spark from newcomer Aaron Cosby as the Illinois transfer scored 15 points in the half on 5-7 shooting. The senior guard would go on to score 22 points on the night while adding three assists and three rebounds.

“He (Cosby) gave you a glimpse of his talent tonight,” Coach Harper said. “He can score in a variety of ways and he can make shots. He really got on a big role that first half. He is a guy that can get us buckets on a nightly basis.” 

However, Cosby was not the only newcomer to make a big splash on Monday night as freshman guard Chris McNeal controlled the pace of the game early for the Hilltoppers with his all-around performance.

In just 27 minutes of playing time on Monday, the true freshman scored six points while also adding seven rebounds and four assists. His poised play at the point guard position helped the Hilltoppers get an early jump on the Blue Raiders.

“I just wanted to come out and work because when you work hard good things happen,” McNeal said. “This team has a lot of depth and if you just play hard on this team, playing time will be found.”

Another transfer player who provided WKU with all-around play was junior guard Fredrick Edmond as he notched 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists on the evening.

Junior guard Chris-Harrison Docks also provided another bright spot for the Hilltoppers in the matchup as he packed a scoring punch adding 15 points on 5-10 shooting from the field.

However, the exhibition did not go as perfectly for the Hilltoppers as the first half did. The Blue Raiders outscored WKU 44-38 in the second half thanks to poor man to man defense and a sluggish start offensively in the half.

“In the second half our defensive energy level wasn’t as good,” Coach Harper said. “We just kind of ventured off and started hooping instead of executing like we did the first half.”

Even with a not-so-ideal second half, the Hilltoppers still maintained their composure and took care of business against Lindsey Wilson. WKU wore down the Blue Raiders down the stretch thanks in large part to balanced team scoring as the Hilltopper bench outscored Lindsey Wilson 32-4.

 “That was just a typical first time out game with growing pains especially with having so many new guys. There were definitely a lot of bright spots and a lot of areas where we still need to get better.”