EKU, WKU to resume basketball rivalry in 2019-20

The on-again, off-again men’s basketball series between Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky is back on again in 2019-20.

EKU announced Tuesday that the Colonels and Hilltoppers will collide in an early-season out-of-conference matchup in Richmond on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.

Neither team has announced its full schedule yet for this coming season.

Western Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky have met 158 times through the years, with the Hilltoppers holding a 114-44 advantage in the series.

After a seven-year break, the teams met in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 before skipping last season.

WKU took two of those three, winning at home 86-84 in 2015-16 and 83-51 last season. The Colonels won 78-59 in Richmond in 2016-17.

Both teams enter 2019-20 looking for breakout seasons.

Coach Rick Stansbury’s Western Kentucky team was bolstered by the return of standout big man Charles Bassey, who entered the 2019 NBA Draft before deciding to return to Bowling Green for a sophomore season. The Hilltoppers also boast three Kentucky Mr. Basketballs in junior Taveion Hollingsworth from Paul Laurence Dunbar (2017), Northern Kentucky transfer Carson Williams from Owen County (2016) and IUPUI graduate transfer Camron Justice from Knott County Central (2015), in addition to two other returning starters in Jared Savage and Josh Anderson.

A.W. Hamilton enters his second season in Richmond having to replace record-setting scorer Nick Mayo.

Second-leading scorer Jomaru Brown (14.4 points per game) returns at guard alongside Kelvin Robinson (7.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists). Former Lexington Christian forward Tre King (6.0 points, 4.4 rebounds) also started for EKU last season.

The Colonels’ freshman class includes former Scott County standout Michael Moreno and 6-foot-10 Tariq Balogun from England. North Carolina State transfer Darius Hicks also becomes eligible this season.

Eastern Kentucky finished 13-18 last season. Western Kentucky ended up 20-14 in 2018-19.