Monday night everyone knew coming into the game against Western Kentucky that the Virginia Cavaliers (6-5, 0-1) would get all they wanted from the Hilltoppers. The Hoos even knew what players would be trying to inflict the most damage for the WKU squad. In the end none of that mattered as Western Kentucky drained shot after shot culminating in a 78-68 victory over the Cavaliers.
Just like last year Anthony Winchester (23 points and 5 rebounds) and Courtney Lee (21 points and 7 rebounds) throttled the Cavalier defense. The confines of E.A. Diddle Arena boded well for the home standing Hilltoppers as they went 10-21 (47.6%) from three point range on the night as well. Overall WKU shot 55% from the field on the night. Inside for the Hilltoppers Elgrace Wilborn had a solid outing offensively and defensively as well netting 14 points and 5 blocked shots. The Hilltoppers moved their record to 8-4 on the season with the win.
For the Hoos it was a combination of things resulting in the road loss. Western Kentucky was extremely hot from the field but Dave Leitao will probably take a look at the defensive and rebounding efforts from his squad. While J.R. Reynolds had another superb performance against Western Kentucky going for 26 points while Sean Singletary (20 points, 6 assists, 3 steals) and Jason Cain (10 points and 3 rebounds) also reached double figures for the Hoos.
Freshman Laurynas Mikalauskas led the team with 9 rebounds on the night to go with 8 points. Besides Jason Cain "Lars" has been the most effective player for the Hoos in the post. He doesn't shoot much but lately the freshman has been very efficient making some wonder why he's not hoisting a few more shots to try and keep defenses honest from applying extra pressure on the backcourt players.
With the majority of the out of conference schedule complete Dave Leitao and his team now face the arduous task of preparing for their second conference game against Clemson. The Hoos' next two games will be at home at University Hall before hitting the road again to face rivals Virginia Tech in Blacksburg in almost two weeks.
The HooNation.com player of the game award goes to junior shooting guard J.R. Reynolds as he poured in 26 points on the night. We will have an updated list this week of just who leads for HooNation.com's Player Of The Year Award to be selected at the season's end.