It was the first win of the season for the Hilltoppers (1-1), who were playing their home opener. They quickly took the lead and never trailed, though the Buccaneers (0-3) tied the game early in the second half on a jumper by Hunter Harris but couldn't push further as Western Kentucky pulled away.
Both teams struggled offensively, with the Hilltoppers shooting just 36 percent from the field and holding the Buccaneers to 13 of 46 -- 28.3 percent. Both also struggled with foul trouble, with Harris fouling out for the Buccaneers and the Hilltoppers losing their big man, Aleksej Rostov.
The teams are former Ohio Valley Conference rivals but haven't faced off since the 1980-81 season.