Tops of the Sun Belt Moment #24 – WKU’s 1,500th Basketball Victory


When you think College Basketball what comes to mind? Most people probably think Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, or Syracuse with those being the more dominant programs in the sport. But, there is one school that cracks the top 20 in all time winningest programs in college basketball, and that school just so happens to be our WKU Hilltoppers. The Tops are ranked over schools such as Arizona, Tennessee, Michigan State, and even the 2014 National Champions Connecticut Huskies.

Today, as we continue our countdown of the best moments from the Hilltoppers’ time in the Sun Belt, we look at one of the most recent milestones of WKU basketball; the 1,500th win in program history, which came on February 5th, 2005 as the Tops hosted Arkansas State.

This game was a huge milestone for WKU, and the fashion the Tops were able to gain their 1,500th win couldn’t have came any better. The Hilltoppers and (then) Indians duked it out for the entirety of the 2nd half, as the game saw an astounding 12 lead changes and 11 ties in the 2nd half alone. It wasn’t until two minutes to go that WKU would gain the lead for good, solidifying the milestone.

As the saying go, the rich only get richer, and aside from the historical context of the win, it also placed WKU in the first overall position by half a game in the SBC East Division over UALR. Head coach Darrin Horn commented on the win:

"“It’s a good win for us, and being in first place is nice, but if we don’t continue and finish it will all be pretty irrelevant, In this league, with the team we have, it is nice to pick up a home victory.”"

The Tops were lead by Freshman and future co-WKU all time points leader Courtney Lee with 18 points on the night.

The same squad who picked up the win would eventually finish out conference play in the number one position. The Tops would lose in the second round of the conference tourney to Denver and that would end their hopes of a NCAA tournament bid.

However, they did receive a invitation to the NIT to extend their post season play. The Hilltoppers would slide past a Kent State squad in an eight point win in OT, but the next game of the tourney would seal the deal on the Tops season as they couldn’t edge out the Wichita State Shockers in round two.