BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Western Kentucky University Lady Topper Basketball has announced its 2014-15 Conference USA schedule. The program is set to make its Conference USA debut on Jan. 4 at Marshall while hosting notable rivals from the past, including Old Dominion, Middle Tennessee and LA Tech in E.A. Diddle Arena this season.
Third-year head coach Michelle Clark-Heard and the Lady Toppers will make their Conference USA debut on Thursday, Jan. 4 when the team travels to Marshall to begin a three-game conference road swing to open league play. The team will also visit Charlotte (Jan. 8) and Old Dominion (Jan. 10) during the stretch.
“I am looking forward to the challenge of renewing many outstanding rivalries this year during our first season in Conference USA,” said Clark-Heard. “We are renewing many series that have been considered elite rivalries throughout the history of women’s basketball, including our matchups with Old Dominion, Charlotte, LA Tech, UAB and Middle Tennessee. I remember playing in games against some of these teams when I played here and they were always outstanding games. It is going to be exciting for our fans to see so many outstanding teams return to Diddle.”
WKU will hosts its first league game in E.A. Diddle Arena on Thursday, Jan. 15 when Florida Atlantic comes to town. It will cap the weekend by hosting FIU on Saturday, Jan. 17 before embarking on the first of two, two-game swings to the Lone Star State. WKU travels to UTEP (Jan. 22) and UTSA (Jan. 24) in a homecoming for Lady Toppers Alexis Govan and Aleeya Harris.
WKU will host LA Tech and first-year head coach Tyler Summitt, the son of legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, on Jan. 29 before entertaining Southern Miss on Jan. 31. WKU returns to Texas for the second time in three weeks the following week to face North Texas (Feb. 5) and Rice (Feb. 7).
The Lady Toppers will then play five of their final seven games of the regular season at home, beginning with Marshall on Feb. 14 and UAB on Feb. 19. WKU will then renew its rivalry with Middle Tennessee on Feb. 21 in E.A. Diddle Arena in the only scheduled meeting between the teams this season.
WKU then heads south to face Florida Atlantic (Feb. 26 in Boca Raton, Fla.) and FIU (Feb. 28 in Miami, Fla.) before returning home to close the season with Charlotte (March 5) and Old Dominion (March 7). The game with Old Dominion will mark the final home game for seniors Chastity Gooch, Ileana Johnson and Govan.
Last season, WKU reached the NCAA Tournament for the 17th time in program history after securing the Sun Belt Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by posting a 61-60 win over Arkansas State in the title game of the Sun Belt Conference Championships. WKU scored 18 of the final 22 points of the game to beat Red Wolves, marking the fourth time during the 2013-14 season that WKU had overcome a double-digit deficit to win a game. In the NCAA Tournament, WKU fell to fifth-ranked Baylor in Waco, Texas on March 22, 2014 by a final score of 87-74 after the game stayed within a single-digit margin for much of the game, including a late first half lead for WKU.
The Lady Toppers finished the 2013-14 season with a 24-9 record, including a 13-5 mark in conference play.
Individuals interested in obtaining tickets for the 2014-15 women’s basketball season can CLICK HERE to complete a request form or can call the WKU Ticket Office to make a deposit on season tickets. Orders will be filled in the order they are received. 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.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE LADY TOPPERS: For complete information on Lady Topper Basketball, visit www.wkusports.com, follow the program on Instagram via “LadyTopperHoops” or follow the program on Twitter via @LadyTopperHoops.