BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A 14-0 run over a six minute stretch late in the game allowed the Western Kentucky University women’s basketball team to pull away for a 60-46 win over Southeast Missouri State Sunday afternoon at E.A. Diddle Arena.
The win was the third in a row for the Lady Toppers a they improved to 8-2 on the season, while SEMO dropped to 5-6.
Returning to the court for the first time in seven days due to semester finals, the Lady Toppers led for the majority of the contest, but led by only three as the second half reached its midway point. After a Kara Wright jumper pulled the Redhawks within three at 40-37 at the 9:12 mark, Alexis Govan knocked down back-to-back shots to spark WKU’s big run. Southeast Missouri missed 11 straight shots, and were held scoreless for over seven minutes as the Lady Toppers rattled off 14 unanswered points to pull out to the first double-digit lead of the contest. Govan and Bianca McGee each scored four points during the run, while a Chaney Means three at the 3:19 mark and LeAsia Wright free throw with 2:44 to play stretched the lead to 54-37.
The Redhawks finally got back on the board with a Wright layup at the 2:04 mark, and went on to score seven of the next nine points to cut the WKU lead to 56-44 with under a minute remaining. However, the Lady Toppers were able to get four straight points from Govan down the stretch, and ran out the clock for the 14-point win.
SEMO’s only lead of the first half came on the opening basket as the Lady Toppers scored 13 of the next 17 points to open up an 13-6 lead on a Chastity Gooch jumper at the 10:36 mark. WKU would take its largest lead of the first half less than two minutes later when McGee knocked down a three — the first bucket of her Lady Topper career — to make it a 16-8 score with just under nine minutes on the clock.
Back-to-back threes from Jordan Hunter and Dru Haertling, followed by a Courtney Shiffer layup, pulled the Redhawks even at 16-16 with 7:31 to go before halftime. The Lady Toppers answered with six straight points, and eight of the next 10 to again pull out to a 24-18 lead on another Gooch basket at the 5:10 mark. The teams would trade baskets the rest of the half, but WKU was held scoreless for the final 3:18, while SEMO went without a point for the final 2:50 as the Lady Toppers took a 28-24 lead into the locker room at intermission.
Govan paced the Lady Toppers at the half with 10 points, while Gooch scored eight.
For the game, Govan tossed in 20 points, while Gooch posted her ninth double-double in 10 games with 16 points and 12 boards. McGeen also posted a double-double in her debut, dropping in 11 points and pulling down 10 boards in 24 minutes of action. Wright paced SEMO with 15 points.
The Lady Toppers were able to outrebound the Redhawks 45-33, and also were able to pull down 15 offensive rebounds.
WKU closes out its pre-Christmas schedule this week, traveling to Dayton, Ohio, to take part in the Wright State Invitational. The Lady Toppers will battle the host Raiders at 4:30 p.m. (CST) on Wednesday (Dec. 19) before battling either Florida A&M or St. Francis (Pa.) at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
For complete coverage of WKU Lady Topper Basketball, visit the official website of WKU Athletics at www.wkusports.com.