Bowling Green, Ky. — Seven Lady Toppers scored in double figures as the Western Kentucky University women’s basketball team cruised to a 120-47 exhibition win over DT-3 Sunday afternoon at E.A. Diddle Arena.
The 120 points were the most scored by a Lady Topper team in an exhibition game under head coach Mary Taylor Cowles, and the 73-point victory was the largest margin in those same seven season in preseason games.
"We always look forward to these exhibition games as a chance to get out on the floor against someone other than ourselves and display what we have been practicing," said Cowles. "More than anything what I’m so proud of today is the intensity and the hard work our young ladies put into today’s game. That’s a goal this year to out work our opponent every night out, and we did a great job of establishing that today."
WKU scored the first 11 points of the game, holding DT-3 to just two points in the first seven minutes as it opened up a 24-2 lead on an Arnika Brown layup with 12:51 remaining in the first half. The Lady Toppers — who shot 56.8 percent from the field in the first half — led by as many as 32 in the opening half after LaTeira Ownes made it a 41-9 score with 6:39 left before intermission.
DT-3 got as close as 23 last in the period, but WKU stretched its lead out to 31 — 55-24 — going into the locker room when Hope Brown knocked down one of six Lady Topper three in the half. Kenzie Rich was WKU’s biggest threat from behind the arc, knocking down 4-of-5 from three to lead all scorers with 12 points at intermission. She finished with a game-high 21 points, going 8-for-11 from the field and 5-for-6 from three-point range.
The Lady Topper turned up the defense in the final 20 minutes, holding DT-3 to just 30.4 percent shooting and forcing 21 of their 39 turnovers in the second half. WKU scored 26 of the first 32 points in the period to push the lead to 81-30 on a Jasmine Johnson layup with 13:16 remaining. The advantage never dipped below 50 the rest of the way as Brown put the Lady Toppers over the century mark with still 6:53 to go when a pair of free throws make it a 101-42 score. In fact, WKU closed out the game with a 21-5 run to put the final margin at 73 points.
Eleven Lady Toppers broke into the scoring column, with four of the five starters scoring in double figures. In addition to Rich’s game-high 21 points, Dominique Duck added 16, Amy McNear tossed in 15 and Arnika Brown posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. A pair of rookies pointed double figures in their collegiate debuts, with Owens finishing with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, and Vanessa Obafemi adding 10 points. Hope Brown also tossed in 13 points off the bench.
WKU will open up the 2008-09 regular season on Friday (Nov. 14) when it hosts Murray State at 8 p.m. (CST) at E.A. Diddle Arena. The game will be the back end of a doubleheader with the Lady Topper Volleyball team, which hosts South Alabama at 6 p.m.