BLOG: Troy 82, WKU 68 (Final)

Senior forward Steffphon Pettigrew and the Toppers travel to Troy at 7 p.m. Thursday, trying to find their first win in the Sun Belt Conference. Follow along for updates.

Zach Greenwell

The Toppers (5-9) have gotten off to a slow start in the Sun Belt Conference, beginning league play at 0-2. They’ll try to turn that around at 7 p.m. Thursday, when they visit Troy (2-13). The Herald can’t be in Troy, Ala., but follow along for periodical updates.

Troy 82, WKU 68 — Final

The Toppers get outscored by 20 in the second half in this one, and they fall to 0-3 in the Sun Belt for the first time since the 1988-89 season.

As bad as Troy shot in the first half, the Trojans 39 percent shooting ended up better than WKU’s 38 percent. They out-rebounded WKU, 54-36.

Troy had four players in double figures, led by Vernon Taylor’s 20 points. Sergio Kerusch led WKU with 24 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out.

The Toppers fall to 5-10 overall. Look for more later at

Troy 71, WKU 59 — 3:55 2nd

The Toppers have gotten back within 12 with a 10-3 run, but they’ll still need lots of help to avoid a really bad loss.

Kerusch leads WKU with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Troy has made 10-of-23 3-pointers.

Troy 68, WKU 49 — 7:08 2nd

This one has turned into a nightmare for WKU. Just looking at the last two updates shows that Troy has fired off a 20-2 run, claiming a massive 19-point lead.

WKU led by 13 in the first half. Keep in mind Troy is 2-13 this season.

Troy 48, WKU 47 — 11:38 2nd

Sorry for the sparse updates, I’ve had some internet problems. But then again, I don’t have much info that WKU fans want to hear.

Troy went on a 10-2 run after Pettigrew opened the second half with a 3-pointer, and that gave the Trojans their first lead of the game at 38-37.

Troy is still holding to a one-point lead at the under-12 timeout, despite still shooting just 31 percent.

Kerusch leads all scorers with 21 points, but the Toppers need others to step up if they’re going to avoid what would be a very disappointing loss.

WKU 32, Troy 26 — Half

WKU extended its lead as high as 13 with 4:07 left, but Troy finished the first half on an 11-4 run to pull back within 32-26 at halftime.

Kerusch leads all scorers with 15 points and nine rebounds. Vernon Taylor leads Troy with 10 points.

The Trojans shot just 25 percent in the first half, but they’ve out-rebounded WKU, 29-19.

The Toppers shot 42.9 percent.

Senior forward Cliff Dixon still hasn’t played in this one, as Head Coach Ken McDonald said on his pregame radio interview that Dixon has been nursing a wrist injury this week.

WKU 18, Troy 11 — 7:57 1st

Kerusch now has 11 points, but the Toppers are mainly leading because of the poor shooting of the Trojans.

However, Troy has managed to keep the game within single digits by grabbing 11 offensive rebounds.

WKU 13, Troy 7 — 11:17 1st

WKU is still holding onto its lead, but the Toppers have surrendered several offensive rebounds to Troy in the last few minutes. The Trojans simply haven’t been able to convert, making just 3-of-22 shots.

Kerusch still leads the way with nine points.

WKU 11, Troy 4 — 15:12 1st

The Toppers have jumped out to an early lead behind eight points from senior forward Sergio Kerusch.

Kerusch has knocked down two 3-pointers, and Kahlil McDonald has also added a long-range shot.

Pregame: Starters for WKU: Kahlil McDonald, Caden Dickerson, Sergio Kerusch, Steffphon Pettigrew, Juan Pattillo.

Head Coach Ken McDonald told reporters Tuesday that sophomore guard Jamal Crook is set to play after hyperextending his elbow against Denver last Thursday.

The Bowling Green Daily News has also reported on Twitter that the WKU players will play Thursday’s game without names on the backs of their jerseys, presumably as a motivational exercise.