Lady Toppers Get Back In Win Column With 98-80 Victory Over Troy

By: Chris Glowacki - WKU Athletic Media Relations
By: Chris Glowacki - WKU Athletic Media Relations

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The Western Kentucky University women’s basketball team snapped a two-game losing skid in a big way Wednesday night, recording a season-high point total in a 98-80 win over Troy at E.A. Diddle Arena.

With the win, the Lady Toppers improved to 16-5 overall and 9-3 in Sun Belt Conference play. Troy dropped to 3-17 and 0-11 in the league.

The 98 points were the most since scoring 101 in a victory over North Texas on Jan. 27, 2010.

“I’m proud of our group for bouncing back. We made some adjustments to things offensively after the Middle Tennessee game, and they executed those tonight,” said Lady Topper head coach Michelle Clark-Heard. “We knew Troy wanted to get the ball up and down the court. On our end, we shot well, and did a great job of passing and getting the ball where it needed to be.”

In addition to the point total, the Lady Toppers shot a season-best 60 percent (36 of 60) from the field, while connecting on seven of 13 shots from behind the three-point arc.

WKU led by seven in the opening minute of the second half, but the Trojans used a 10-2 run to regain a 50-49 lead on a Joanna Harden jumper with 16:35 to play. The Lady Toppers would respond, however, building the lead back up to seven points before using a 12-0 run to pull out to a 75-58 lead on an Alexis Govan layup midway through the half.

The lead remained in double figures the rest of the game, with WKU pushing the advantage as high as 19 point on four different occasions — the last coming in the final minute of play.

The lead changed hands 10 times in a fast-paced first 10 minutes of action before Ileana Johnson put WKU in front for the remainder of the period with a layup to make it 22-21 at the 10:12 mark. That came in the midst of a 16-3 Lady Topper run that saw them stretch the lead out to double figures when a Bianca McGee layup made it a 34-23 score with 7:02 remaining before intermission.

Troy responded, however, scoring 11 of the next 12 points to pulling within one (35-34) on a Harden jumper with just over four minutes on the clock. WKU was able to stretch the lead back to eight LeAsia Wright knocked down a three as the scoreboard read 42-34 with 2:18 to go. Troy was able to cut that down to a five-point game at intermission as the Lady Toppers went into the locker room with a 45-40 lead.

McGee led all scorers with a career-high 24 points, going 8-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-6 from three. Govan added 23, while Gooch tossed in 21 points to go along with 12 rebounds for her 18th double-double of the season. Johnson also added a career-high 11 points off the bench. Chaney Means also dished out a career-high eight assists. Jasmine Pitts led five Trojans in double figures with 19 points.

WKU heads back out on the road next Thursday (Feb. 7) to take on North Texas at 5 p.m. (CST) in Denton. The Lady Toppers will return home on Saturday, Feb. 9 for a 4 p.m. contest against Arkansas State. Tickets for all Lady Topper home games are available through the WKU Ticket Office by calling 270-745-5222 or 1-800-5-BIG-RED. Tickets can also be ordered online at www.wkusports.com.

For complete coverage of WKU Lady Topper Basketball, visit the official website of WKU Athletics at www.wkusports.com.


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