By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
A HEALTHY version of Deandre Ayton's Arizona Wildcats crept back into the top 25 while Dwight Coleby and his Western Kentucky Hilltoppers put an end to a two-game losing streak this weekend.
Ayton finished with 14 points and a game high 13 rebounds in the Wildcats' 89-72 win over the New Mexico Lobos at the Dreamstyle Arena in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Wildcats improved to 8-3 with their fifth consecutive win and Ayton notched his ninth double double of the season. He shot an efficient 7-9 from the field with two blocked shots.
Early in the second half, the Wildcats built their lead to 52-33 before New Mexico, pulling within 76-69 with 5 minutes left, but that was as close as the Lobos could get.
The Wildcats hit a season-best 9 of 13 3-point attempts and it was a welcome sign for head coach Sean Miller to see the team perform well on the road after several upsets early in the season at the Battle 4 Atlantis. "The one thing that's different maybe about college basketball than a lot of other sports is how different it is home versus away," Miller said. "Until you go through a couple of these experiences, you're not comfortable.
"Hopefully our guys are more comfortable now than they were before tonight's game."
Coleby and the Hilltoppers shook off two straight losses Saturday and got back on the winning track with an 81-65 victory over Indiana State at E.A. Diddle Arena.
The Hilltoppers (7-4) shot 56.6 per cent from the field, grabbed 11 steals and outscored Indiana State 42-24 in the paint. He finished with 11 points , eight rebounds and three blocked shots in 30 minutes of play.
WKU scored the first seven points of the game and ultimately opened with a 19-5 run, including 14 points in the paint.
The Hilltoppers shot 58.6 per cent from the field in the first half, building a 43-28 advantage by the break.
Coleby rebounded from a tough four-point, four-rebound performance when the Hilltoppers lost 81-80 to Wisconsin on a controversial last second foul.