HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Both Head Coach Ken McDonald and the Toppers have talked repeatedly this season about effort — when they’ve shown enough and when they’ve come up short.
But in thrashing New Orleans 83-56, McDonald said he finally saw what he’s been seeking all along.
“I thought it was really good,” McDonald said. “I think you can can always tweak some of the things the way you’re playing. I always think that. But I thought tonight, we were still in stride with how we’ve been playing.”
Those tweaks came from the first half to the second, when the Toppers came out of the locker room, according to Kerusch, playing a different style of basketball.
“I feel like shots started falling. We started delivering the ball better — trading a good shot for a great shot, attacking the boards and started driving and creating for our shooters,” Kerusch said. “We just started playing better as a team, and we came together in the second half.”
Western shot 44.4 percent in the first half but went 31-of-55 in the second (56.4 percent), boosted by junior forward Steffphon Pettigrew’s 7-of-13 performance, Kerusch’s 6-of-10 shooting and senior guard Anthony Sally’s perfect 4-for-4 from the field.