HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — (WKU Sports Information) WKU and Louisiana will square off tonight at 6:30 in Hot Springs, Ark., with a berth in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament “Final Four” on the line.

WKU defeated ULM, 66-50, in the tournament’s first round on Saturday night, and Louisiana will be hitting the hardwood in Hot Springs for the first time after earning a first-round bye in the tournament. The Hilltoppers have won the last four meetings with Louisiana that were played in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, but the Ragin’ Cajun victory over WKU earlier this season snapped a 11-game Hilltopper winning streak overall in the series, discounting two victories from 2004 and 2005 that the Ragin’ Cajuns vacated due to NCAA sanctions.

A WKU victory on Sunday night would advance the Hilltoppers to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament for the seventh-straight season. WKU is 7-2 under Ken McDonald in games played in the month of March.

WKU is 40-21 all-time in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and has reached the semifinals in six-straight seasons. The Hilltoppers are trying to become the 18th team in the nation since 1936 to win four games in its conference tournament in four or five days, and as a result earn the Sun Belt Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

There is no television for the first two rounds of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. WKU's Sunday night quarterfinal game against Louisiana will be broadcast on the Big Red Radio Network, airing locally in Bowling Green on WKLX Sam 100.7 FM, with Randy Lee and Hal Schmitt calling the action.

The Sun Belt Conference will be webstreaming every game of the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Tournament on its website as a part of "SBC Extra." Fans can purchase a package that includes every game of both the men's and women's conference tournaments for a one-time payment of $11.95, and individual games are available on a game-by-game basis for $4.95 each. For more information on "SBC Extra" for the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Tournament and to purchase, CLICK HERE.

Complete game notes are available at the link at the bottom of the page.

GAME 31
#3E WKU (15-15, 8-8 SBC) vs. #2W Louisiana (14-14, 11-5 SBC)
2011 Sun Belt Conference Tournament - Quarterfinals
March 6, 2011 // 6:30 PM (CT)
Summit Arena (6,000) // Hot Springs, Ark.

QUICK SHOTS
• Steffphon Pettigrew won the 90th game of his career Saturday against ULM and also became the 14th Hilltopper to score 1,500 points in his career with 15 points in the game.
• WKU went 4-3 this season against the five teams on its side of the conference tournament bracket and 4-5 against the six teams on the other side.
• WKU has reached the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in six-straight seasons.
• WKU has won two Sun Belt Conference championships in the last three seasons.
• With Sergio Kerusch and Steffphon Pettigrew being named to the All-Sun Belt Conference First Team this season, WKU has now had a first-team member in nine-straight years, dating back to when the conference started having three teams in 2002-03, and the duo gives WKU two first-team players in the same season for the first time since 2005-06 (Courtney Lee, Anthony Winchester).
• WKU has three players ranked in the top 13 in the conference in scoring average this season (Sergio Kerusch, fourth, 15.1 ppg; Steffphon Pettigrew, sixth, 14.4 ppg; Juan Pattillo, 13th, 13.3 ppg).
• Jamal Crook has the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the conference in all games this season (2.0:1) and the fourth-best in conference games only (2.2:1).
• Jamal Crook has had 10 of WKU’s top-12 individual assist total games this season.
• WKU is 11-4 when Jamal Crook has at least four assists and 7-1 when he and Kahlil McDonald combine to dish out at least eight assists.
• After using nine different starting lineups in the first 15 games of the season, WKU has had the same starters for eight-straight games.
• Juan Pattillo’s current rebounding average of 9.0 per game stands to be the best single-season average by a Hilltopper since Nigel Dixon pulled down 10.3 rebounds per game in 2003-04.

THE LAST TIME OUT
WKU’s three seniors combined for 53 points and 30 rebounds to power WKU to a 66-50 win over ULM in Hot Springs, Ark. Sergio Kerusch led the Hilltoppers Saturday night with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Juan Pattillo added 18 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks, and Steffphon Pettigrew contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds. The double-double was Kerusch’s 10th of the season and 24th of his career, and his 14 rebounds tied a season high. The victory is the 90th of Pettigrew’s four-year WKU career. The senior from Elizabethtown, Ky., also became the 14th Hilltopper to amass 1,500 points in his career.

HILLTOPPER INDIVIDUAL TRENDS
• Steffphon Pettigrew is averaging 16.4 points per game in the last 11 games.
• Jamal Crook is averaging 5.0 assists and just 2.0 turnovers per game in the last eight contests.
• After going the previous eight games without a three-point field goal, Caden Dickerson is 25-for-53 (.472) from distance in his last 13 contests.
• 44 of Kahlil McDonald’s 56 made field goals this season are three-pointers, and 40 of Caden Dickerson’s 56 converted field goals are from distance.
• Kahlil McDonald is averaging 9.5 points per game in the last eight games.
• Steffphon Pettigrew has contributed at least 10 points in 59.0 percent of his career games (79 of 134).
• Steffphon Pettigrew has scored in double-figures in 55 of his last 67 contests.
• Juan Pattillo has led WKU in blocks in 20 of the team’s 30 games this season.
• Sergio Kerusch has accounted for seven of WKU’s top 12 individual scoring games of the season.
• Steffphon Pettigrew has started 36-straight games and 75 of WKU’s last 76 overall - the only non-start was Senior Day in 2010, when Pettigrew, a junior, came off the bench so senior Nemanja Milosevic could start his final home game.
• Sergio Kerusch has grabbed at least eight rebounds in 24 of his last 40 contests.

HILLTOPPER TEAM TRENDS
• A Hilltopper has had a double-double in 21 of WKU’s 30 games this season (14-7 in those games).
• WKU is 14-1 in 2010-11 and 57-5 under head coach Ken McDonald when leading a game with 5:00 left to play.
• WKU has been outrebounded in four of the last seven games.
• Senior Steffphon Pettigrew is the only Hilltopper to have started each game this season.
• WKU’s three seniors are contributing 61.7% of the team’s scoring this season and 61.8% of its rebounding.
• The Hilltoppers have been outscored by 0.2 points per game this season - the last WKU team to be outscored in a season was the 1999-00 squad (-2.5).
• WKU has faced a double-digit deficit at one point in 13 of its 15 losses.
• In its 15 wins this season WKU is holding opponents to 28.7 percent shooting from three-point range, compared to surrendering the three-pointer at a 44.3 percent clip in its 15 losses.
• WKU has trailed at halftime 15 times this season (2-13 in those games).
• WKU has been outrebounded in 10 of its 15 losses this season.
• WKU teams are 0-16 under head coach Ken McDonald when allowing 80 or more points in a game.
• With an average of 3,821 fans per home game in 2010-11, WKU placed second in the Sun Belt Conference in average home attendance for the first time in the last seven seasons (Louisiana, 3,919).
• WKU has had two-straight Sun Belt Conference Preseason Players of the Year (Sergio Kerusch, 2010; A.J. Slaughter, 2009) and the Player of the Year at the end of the season in five of the last 11 seasons.


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