Bowling Green, Ky. - Two members of the Western Kentucky University women's basketball team earned a spot on the preseason all-Sun Belt Conference team announced on Tuesday. Sophomore forward Chastity Gooch and sophomore guard Alexis Govan both earned third-team honors as the league announced the team prior to its Media Day teleconference.
Gooch returns for her second season in a Lady Topper uniform after she averaged 6.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game during her freshman campaign. The Franklin, Ky., native played in all 30 games as a rookie, shooting 35.5 percent from the field. She also recorded 32 assists, eight blocked shots and 23 steals on the year. Gooch scored in double figures five times last, and added four games with double-digit rebounds. She scored a season-best 19 points against Louisiana Tech, while finishing with a season-high 11 rebounds three times.
Govan returns as WKU's top scorer in 2012-13 after averaging 6.6 points per game during her freshman season. The San Antonio, Texas, product posted double-digit scoring totals eight times during her rookie season, but saved her best for last as she dropped in 22 points in back-to-back games against Middle Tennessee in the regular-season finale, and in a win over Louisiana-Monroe in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament. She added 10 points and season-best eight rebounds against MTSU in the tournament quarterfinals. Govan shot 37.8 percent from the field for the season, and 74.5 percent at the free throw line last season. In addition to her scoring totals, Govan also dished out a team-best 58 assists, while collecting 42 steals and three blocked shots.
In the preseason Coaches' Poll, the Lady Toppers earned 26 points, and were slated fifth in the east division. Middle Tennessee and UALR were voted as the preseason favorites in the east and west divisions, respectively. Florida International's Jerica Coley was selected as the preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year.
In addition to the preseason poll and all-conference team, it was also announced on Tuesday that a pair of late-season Lady Topper games will be televised by the Sun Belt Network. WKU's road game at Louisiana-Lafayette (Feb. 23) and the regular-season finale against Middle Tennessee (March 2) will be televised as part of the league package. The contest with the Ragin' Cajuns will remain a 5 p.m. (CT) tipoff, while the matchup with the Blue Raiders will be moved to an 11 a.m. start.
The 2012-13 Lady Toppers take the court for the first time under new head coach Michelle Clark-Heard on Nov. 2 when they host Harding University in a 6 p.m. exhibition matchup. The regular season gets underway one week later on Nov. 9 when WKU travels to Murray State.