Coleby leaves game against FIU with knee injury
Western Kentucky University (WKU) forward Dwight Coleby left Saturday’s game against Florida International University (FIU) midway through the first half with a left knee injury.
Despite Coleby’s injury, WKU managed to pull off an 83-76 victory at home, improving to an 18-7 win/loss record overall and 10-2 in Conference USA. The WKU Hilltoppers went 10-for-10 from the free throw line in the final 1:40 to hold off the surging FIU Panthers. After trailing by as many as 10 points midway through the second half, FIU pulled within 71-69 at the 2:11 mark on a three-pointer by Michael Douglas, but WKU’s Justin Johnson answered with two free throws. Lamonte Bearden followed that up with a baseline drive with 1:04 left to stretch the lead to 75-69.
Justin Johnson led the way for WKU, while Darius Thompson had 18 and four assists. Coleby had two points and a rebound before leaving the game. Although the 6’9” forward never returned to action, WKU coach Rick Stansbury doesn’t think the injury is going to keep Coleby out of the line-up for an extended period of time. He added that Coleby was kept out of the game as a precaution.
“We think he’s going to be ok,” Stansbury said of Coleby. “We wanted to go a little smaller in this game, anyway.”
Coleby was forced to sit out the entire 2015-16 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee during a team workout.
Coleby is in the middle of his best season as a collegiate player, seeing that he’s increased his scoring average by more than 10 points per game and is averaging career highs in rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Coleby has scored in double figures in 17 of WKU’s 22 games.
Up to press time, there was no official word as to whether or not Coleby will play on this week’s road trip, which features games at North Texas (Thursday) and Rice University (Saturday). WKU has won 11 of its last 13 games.
With time winding down in the season, Coleby and the WKU Hilltoppers (17-7) have to win the majority of their remaining games to even be considered for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Hilltoppers have just six regular season games remaining. WKU is currently tied for second in Conference USA.