BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Just five days before hosting Kentucky Wesleyan in an exhibition game to begin the 2013-14 season, Lady Topper Basketball head coach Michelle Clark-Heard and the team met with the media on Thursday afternoon for Media Day festivities.
“I’m super excited about the enthusiasm in the air and what we are trying to do,” said Clark-Heard. “We are just trying to get better each and every day. We’re excited about the momentum headed into the season and happy with the opportunity to do some great things.”
Among those taking the spotlight on the day were All-America candidates Alexis Govan and Chastity Gooch.
“The numbers that they put up last year were incredible but the next step is to continue to get better,” said Clark-Heard. “What I’ve tried to do is to challenge them in different ways. My biggest thing for Alexis (Govan) is to continue to get better defensively. Because she’s so athletic, I think she can add a lot to her game if she does that. She shot the ball unbelievable last year. I think she was 46 percent from the field, which is unheard of at the guard position. With Chastity, she’s done a lot of great things. Her body looks great, she’s worked great in the offseason. I want her to continue to work and understand that she is a force on the inside. I want her to keep doing what she does to continue to do better.
“It is also going to help that they aren’t going to have to play 32 minutes. We have more manpower. I think that’s the thing for them, to be more productive in less amount of minutes.”
Govan, a preseason selection as the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year by CollegeSportsMadness.com, was the third highest scoring sophomore in the nation and 15th highest scoring player overall last season. Her 20.3 points per game ranked as the fourth most by a player in program history as she was named a First Team All-Conference selection. Her 671 points ranked as the sixth most in a single season in program history. Her most notable individual performance of the year came when she scored 40 points in an 82-80 win over North Texas on Dec. 29, 2012 in E.A. Diddle Arena, one of just 14 40-point performances in the nation during the 2012-13 season and one of just three by a sophomore.
Gooch, a preseason All-Conference selection by CollegeSportsMadness.com, was the first player in program history to record 400 points (532), 300 rebounds (374), 50 steals (77) and 50 blocks (61) in a single season in 2012-13. Only five players nationwide achieved the feat last year. Following the season, she was named the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year, the first Lady Topper in school history to win the award from the league and the 11th time a player has won a specialty award in program history. Gooch finished the season ranked second in the nation in double-doubles in a season with 26, breaking ShaRae Mansfield’s 1999-00 record of 22 in a single season. She also finished the season with the 11th most double-doubles in NCAA Division One history and finished with the second most double-doubles in NCAA history for a sophomore by Courtney Paris’ 33 double-doubles as a sophomore in 2006-07
The Lady Toppers will host two preseason exhibitions prior to the start of the regular season. WKU will play Kentucky Wesleyan on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 7:00 p.m. CT and Glenville State on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2:00 p.m. CT. Admission to the two preseason exhibitions is also free this season, allowing fans to get a taste of the excitement surrounding the Lady Topper Basketball program in advance of the start of the regular season.
Season tickets and single-game tickets for 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. The 2013-14 team will face a challenging slate of games, including a home contest with defending national finalist Louisville on Nov. 27 at E.A. Diddle Arena. A complete look at the 2013-14 schedule, including game times, is available at www.wkusports.com.
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. The official twitter hashtag of the 2013-14 season for Lady Topper Basketball is #ClimbingTheLadder.