W Kentucky Washington Basketball

Western Kentucky coach Rick Stansbury gathers his team together during a timeout during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Washington on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Seattle. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)

SEATTLE – Josh Anderson and Dalano Banton are expected to carry the load for Western Kentucky at point guard, at least early in the season.

Western Kentucky didn’t get much out of either player Tuesday in a 73-55 loss at No. 25 Washington.

Anderson and Banton combined to go scoreless in the Hilltoppers’ season-opening loss at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Banton started the game at the position but played just 12 minutes. The freshman finished with zero points (0-for-4 field goals, 0-for-1 3-pointers) two assists and one rebound against two turnovers and three fouls.

Tuesday marked the first college game of Banton’s career. The 6-foot-8 Toronto native is one of two WKU freshmen, along with center Charles Bassey, who reclassified into the 2018 class after originally being part of the Class of 2019.

“Whatever happens to Dalano, he’s a freshman,” Topper coach Rick Stansbury said. “It’s just where he is. He tried to do too much and got himself in bad situations. For a freshman, you can’t do that.”

Anderson came off the bench Tuesday after serving a one-game suspension Saturday for WKU’s final exhibition against Division II program Kentucky Wesleyan. The suspension stemmed from the guard’s arrest Thursday on charges of second-degree disorderly conduct.

The sophomore Anderson never got on track at Washington. He played only six first-half minutes, picking up three fouls during that time.

Anderson eventually fouled out after 13 scoreless minutes on the court. He shot 0-for-3 from the floor and posted three rebounds, one assist and one block against four turnovers.

Guard Taveion Hollingsworth said foul trouble played a role in both Anderson and Banton’s performances Tuesday.

“I tell them, ‘You can’t get silly fouls. We need you guys in the game,’” the sophomore Hollingsworth said. “For us to have just nine players (who played Tuesday), we’ve got to be smart.”

Stansbury expects big things this year from Anderson, a former four-star recruit in the Class of 2017. The coach moved him off the wing this season to point guard, wanting Anderson to attack defenses from the middle of the floor.

But coach Mike Hopkins’ Huskies squad used a zone defense to limit Anderson and his teammates’ ability to get to the basket.

“Josh, he just wasn’t very good,” Stansbury said. “There’s no way I can wrap that up or say it any differently. He just was not very good.

“Against the zone, you’ve got to be able to shift gears and think and see some things. He just wasn’t very good. Five fouls, no points. … We need him to be a lot better than that.”

Hollingsworth handled point guard duties when Anderson and Banton weren’t on the floor. He played the spot late in the first half as WKU rallied for a 17-0 run to go into halftime up 36-27.

Lamonte Bearden, a 2017-18 starter at the position, is academically ineligible for the Toppers’ first nine games. If he makes grades this semester, he can come back, starting with a Dec. 16 home game vs. Troy.{&end}

– Follow Daily News sports reporter Brad Stephens on Twitter @BradBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

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Bowling Green Daily News sports reporter primarily covering Western Kentucky football and men's basketball.

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