WKU seniors leave it all on the court

WKU’s redshirt senior Caden Dickerson reacts after what will likely be his last game as a Hilltopper, a 73-72 loss to the University of Louisiana Lafayette in the semifinal round of the Sun Belt Tournament Saturday, March 15, 2014, at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, La. (Mike Clark/HERALD)

Tyler Lashbrook

NEW ORLEANS — WKU’s final game—a 73-72 loss against Louisiana-Lafayette in the Sun Belt semifinals—marked the last time its three seniors will ever put on a Topper uniform.

But each of those seniors made a positive impact in their last outing.

Guard Caden Dickerson and forward O’Karo Akamune both started the game.

Dickerson took on a number challenging defensive assignments throughout the night, including long stretches against ULL guard Elfrid Payton, a potential first round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

He also scored the first bucket—a three-pointer—of the game for the Toppers. In all, he notched five points and a rebound and hit both shots he attempted from the floor. 

Akamune drew the challenge of guarding ULL forward Shawn Long, accepted in Sun Belt circle as one of the best big men in the league.

Long struggled all night. He finished with nine points—10 short of his season average—three rebounds and four turnovers. Akamune was able to hold him to some of his lowest totals of the season.

The senior forward finished the game with just one point, but he grabbed eight rebounds, including a pair of important, late game offensive boards.

Harris had one of his best games in the second half of the season. He was third in scoring for the Toppers, netting 11 points, including three long range shots, one that gave the Hilltoppers its first lead of the second half.

Coach Ray Harper said after the game that his seniors are “class acts.”

“They’re great guys,” he said. “They’ll be successful long after today, which is what I’m most proud of. They’re great kids, and they represent this basketball program and this university the right way.”