MEN’S BASKETBALL: EKU returns to schedule

Michael Casagrande

For the first time in 10 seasons, Kentucky’s top two directional schools will meet on the hardwood.

Western’s rivalry with Eastern Kentucky has been on hiatus since the 1994-95 season but will resume Dec. 8 in Diddle Arena.

The two schools agreed to a four-game contract that will split the games between Bowling Green and Richmond.

Western coach Darrin Horn said the renewed series came more out of necessity than rivalry.

“It became apparent that we needed a new series,” Horn said. “It is not so much to start a rivalry, it is more about getting a series.”

The Toppers defeated the Colonels in the last meeting, 82-77 on Dec. 21, 1994 in Richmond.

Horn was playing for Western in the game and made a jump shot in the closing moments to seal the Western victory.

“I think it’s great that we’ve restarted the series with Western Kentucky,” Eastern coach Travis Ford said in a press release. “Not only will the game feature great competition and help our teams get ready for conference play, but also our fans will be excited to see us play each other again.”

Ford, who just signed a multi-year contract extension, will bring a strong freshman class to Diddle. ranked the Colonel incoming class No. 28 nationally.

The young Colonels will be battling history when they come to the Hill.

The Hilltoppers hold the overall series edge, 110-42.

Western has not lost to Eastern since 1986-87.

Western and Eastern revived the football rivalry last fall after three seasons without a game.

More than 100 fans were turned away from Smith Stadium as the largest crowd since 1987, (18,317) packed the seats.

Reach Michael Casagrande at [email protected].