TROY, Ala. – WKU rode a 51-point first half and a strong defensive effort in the second half to a 86-69 win over Troy as junior Chastity Gooch scored 30 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the Lady Toppers.
WKU (9-4, 1-1) led by 14 points at the half at 51-37 and used a strong second half on defense to post the win over Troy (4-9, 0-2). The Lady Toppers held Troy to 32 points in the second half as the Trojans were limited to just 35.8 percent shooting in the second half and just two three-point field goals. The defensive effort added up to w win against the Sun Belt Conference’s top scoring team and the 13th most productive scoring offense in the nation at 84.3 points per game entering today’s contest
In addition to Gooch’s 30 points and 16 boards, sophomore guard Micah Jones ended a scoring slump to score a career best 20 points, including four three-point field goals in the first half. She added five rebounds and six assists. Redshirt freshman Kendall Noble also had a breakout game, scoring 12 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Junior Chanell Lockhart rounded out the WKU scorers in double figures with 10 points and five rebounds.
The Lady Toppers jumped out to a quick start, scoring the games’ first nine points as WKU eventually took a 13-3 lead before Troy was able to make a field goal at the 15:07 mark of the first half. The hot start was propelled by Gooch early as she scored 11 of WKU’s first 15 points in the game as WKU’s lead ballooned to double digits shortly after the first media timeout.
After Gooch set the stage early, sophomore guard Micah Jones rediscovered her long-range shot. Jones hit her first four three-point field goal attempts of the first half on her way to a 14-point performance in the opening half. Gooch finished the opening half with 18 points and eight rebounds after hitting 7-of-10 shots from inside the three-point arc and 8-of-13 overall for the opening half.
WKU would lead 51-37 at halftime after scoring the most points in the opening half of a game during the Michelle Clark-Heard era.
Troy cut the lead to as low as 11 points in the second half before WKU was able to pull away.
With the win, the Lady Toppers improved to 15-1 all-time against the Trojans and improved to 7-1 against Troy in Troy, Ala. It was the ninth straight win over Troy for WKU. It was the third win for Michelle Clark-Heard as the WKU coach against Troy.
The Lady Toppers were without the services of junior All-America candidate Alexis Govan for the second consecutive game due to injury. The guard averaged 16.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in WKU’s first 11 games of the season on the heels of one of the most prolific scoring seasons in program history as a sophomore in 2012-13 at 20.3 points per outing.
COMING UP NEXT IN E.A. DIDDLE ARENA: The Lady Toppers next game at E.A. Diddle Arena is Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 when WKU hosts Georgia State for the Third Spread the Red Education Game. Tipoff is set for 11:30 a.m. CT. Over 2,100 area school children are expected to be in attendance for the game. Tickets to the game are available for just $1 as part of the NCAA Pack the House Challenge through the WKU Ticket Office for the general public.
Single-game tickets for the remainder of the 2013-14 season are currently available for purchase by contacting the WKU Ticket Office. Individuals can call the WKU Ticket Office at 1-800-5-BIG-RED to learn more about season ticket opportunities, visit www.wkusports.com or visit the ticket office in E.A. Diddle Arena. A complete look at the 2013-14 schedule, including game times, is available at www.wkusports.com.