BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Looking to sustain the momentum from a historic turnaround season in 2012-13, WKU and second-year head coach Michelle Clark-Heard have released the remainder of the schedule for the 2013-14 season.
In her first year as coach of the Lady Toppers, Clark-Heard engineered one of the nation’s best turnarounds. She led WKU to 13 additional wins over the prior season, setting the Sun Belt Conference record for largest win improvement. She also helped WKU to eight additional conference wins over the prior season, tying the league record. Following the regular season, she was named the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year. The Lady Toppers return all five starters from the 2012-13 squad, including All-America candidates Alexis Govan and Chastity Gooch.
The 14-game home slate is highlighted by an appearance in E.A. Diddle Arena by defending national finalist Louisville on Wednesday, Nov. 27. The Louisville game will mark the first time that former Paul Sanderford assistant coaches Jeff Walz and Clark-Heard have faced off on the hardwood as head coaches. Clark-Heard also served as an assistant coach to Walz at Louisville for five seasons. She helped Walz lead the Cardinals to the national championship game in 2009. Current WKU assistant coach Candyce Bingham was a player on that 2009 Louisville team. The game will mark the first time since the 1999-00 season that WKU has hosted a team that reached the NCAA Final Four in the previous season in E.A. Diddle Arena. WKU has four wins in E.A. Diddle Arena history over teams that reached the NCAA Final Four the previous season including wins over Old Dominion in 1983-84 and twice in 1985-86 in addition to a win over Louisiana Tech in 1994-95.
During non-conference play, WKU also plays host to regional non-conference rivals Austin Peay (Aug. 9 in season opener), Murray State (Nov. 16) and Morehead State (Dec. 1). The road slate in non-conference play includes games at Vanderbilt (Nov. 11) and Ball State (Dec. 7).
The Lady Toppers close out non-conference play at the 2013 Puerto Rico Classic at the Coliseo Guillermo Angulo Carolina. WKU will face Belmont on Friday, Dec. 20 before facing off with Georgetown on Saturday, Dec. 21. Both games are schedule to tip at 11:00 am CT.
WKU will open the new calendar year against South Alabama on New Year's Day, meeting the Jaguars in Mobile, Ala. on Jan. 1 at 7:00 p.m. CT. After a trip to Troy, Ala., the Lady Toppers return home for the first of two three-game home stands during the conference season. WKU hosts Georgia State on Jan. 8 followed by challenging matchups with UALR on Jan. 15 and Arkansas State on Jan. 18. The Georgia State game will tipoff at 11:30 a.m. CT as part of Lady Topper Education Day, allowing area school children to attend the game.
WKU's second three-game home stand features Troy, South Alabama and ULM on Feb. 12, Feb. 15 and Feb. 22, respectively.
WKU closes out the home slate on Mar. 5 against Louisiana-Lafayette on Senior Night when WKU will honor departing seniors Chaney Means and Bianca McGee. Following the regular season finale at Georgia State on Mar. 8, WKU will travel to New Orleans, La. for the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Championships at Lakefront Arena. The event runs from Mar. 12-15. The NCAA Division One Women's Basketball Championships follow a week later with the Final Four being played in Nashville, Tenn. at Bridgestone Arena.
Fans will have the chance to see the Lady Toppers in action on the court multiple times before the start of the regular season. Hilltopper Hysteria moves to a Saturday night for the first time and will take place on Saturday, October 19. The free event at E.A. Diddle Arena begins at 6:00 PM. The Lady Toppers will also host two preseason exhibitions. WKU will play Glenville State (W.V.) on Oct. 29 and Kentucky Wesleyan on Nov. 3.
The WKU Ticket Office is now accpeting new season ticket orders for the 2013-14 WKU Lady Topper Basketball season. Individuals can call the WKU Ticket Office at 1-800-5-BIG-RED or visit www.wkusports.com to order tickets. Returning season ticket holders will receive renewal notices during the month of August in the mail but can begin renewing online now or renew via phone.
For complete information on Lady Topper Basketball, visit www.wkusports.com, like the team on Facebook or follow the program on Twitter via @LadyTopperHoops.