MONROE, La. - WKU erased a 13-point second half deficit as Chastity Gooch and Kendall Noble combined for 51 points in a 77-73 win over ULM at Fant-Ewing Coliseum on Wednesday night.
WKU (12-5, 4-2) trailed 44-31 early in the second half and fought back to take a lead it would not relinquish with 3:37 remaining on a free throw by Noble en route to the victory over ULM (7-11, 3-3).
Gooch, the junior All-America candidate, became the 35th member of the Lady Topper Basketball 1,000 Point Club, becoming the second player to join the elite list of players this season at WKU. Her 11th point of the game, with 2:33 remaining in the first half, allowed her to join the elite list of players.
Gooch finished with a career-high 31 points, grabbing seven rebounds in 39 minutes of play. She played the entire second half, scoring 20 in the second stanza.
Gooch joined the 1,000 point club in just 80 games as a WKU player, becoming the 11th player in program history to reach the 1,000 point mark in 80 games or less. Teammate Alexis Govan reached the mark in the 71st game of her career on Dec. 7, 2013.
Noble added a career best 20 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out seven assists in flirting with a triple-double. She hit 7-of-10 shots, including 2-of-2 from behind the three-point arc in the win. Noble's biggest basket came with 1:25 left as she hit a step-back three-point field goal to give WKU a 72-68 lead late.
ULM built a 10-point lead at 29-19 before the Lady Toppers fought back to within three at 32-29 with 2:33 remaining in the first half on Gooch's basket to post her 1,000th point. The Warhawks then scored 10 straight to jump ahead by 13 at 42-29 before Kendall Noble's basket near the final buzzer of the first half cut the deficit to 11 at 42-31.
WKU shot just 35.3 percent in the first half, including 5-of-14 from behind the three-point arc. ULM built its double-digit lead in the opening half by hitting 16-of-31 shots from the field for a 51.6 percent clip. The run was aided when ULM hit 8-of-11 shots from the free throw line in the opening stanza, opposed to just 2-of-4 for WKU.
In the second half, ULM went up 44-31 to open the second half before the Lady Toppers gradually fought back to take the lead at 58-56 on a three-point play by Kendall Noble with 9:21 remaining to cap a 10-0 run. The teams exchanged the lead until Noble's free throws with 3:37 left gave WKU the lead for good.