SPORTS BRIEFS: Hoopsters score another 7-footer

Western’s men’s basketball team has landed another big guy. Josh Higgins, a 7-foot, 295-pound center, said Monday that he will sign with the Hilltoppers in November, The Courier-Journal reported yesterday.

The left-hander averaged 13.5 points and 7.9 rebounds as a junior at Butler High School in Vandalia, Ohio, last year.

After the departure of 7-foot-1 Chris Marcus at the end of the 2002-03 season, Higgins will join 6-foot-11, 350-pound transfer Nigel Dixon, 7-foot-2 freshman Michael Doe and 6-foot-10 junior Caleb Halcomb to form a towering front court for the Toppers.

Western basketball coaches are not allowed by NCAA rules to speak publicly about an unsigned player.

Lady Tops head west

Western’s women’s soccer team hits the road today with a 7 p.m. date in Stillwater, Okla., to face Oklahoma State. The Lady Toppers will then head to Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday to take on Drake at 7 p.m.

They’ll try to ride the wave of three straight wins, including a nine-goal explosion against Morehead State last weekend. Sophomore Allison Nellis, who recorded a hat trick in that match, will lead the Western attack.

Golfers 15th in fall opener

Western’s men’s golf team opened its fall season with a last-place finish in the Badger Invitational at the University Ridge Golf Course in Verona, Wisc., last weekend. The Toppers were tied for seventh in the 15-team field after shooting a 5-over-par 293 in the first round.

But a 303 Saturday and 307 Sunday dropped Western to the bottom of the pack. Robby Shaw’s 6-over 222 was good for 41st, the Toppers’ best individual score.

– Kyle Tucker