WKU Keeps Big Streak Going, Beats UT Arlington 94-70 for Fifth Straight 24-Plus Point Win

By: Robert Sampson, WKU Athletics Communications/Media Relations
By: Robert Sampson, WKU Athletics Communications/Media Relations

WKU (19-8, 11-5) has now won five straight conference games.

ARLINGTON, Texas – WKU jumped ahead early with a 9-0 run and led by 25 at halftime as the Lady Toppers posted their fifth straight win by at least 24 points, beating UT Arlington 94-70 at the College Park Center on Saturday evening.

WKU (19-8, 11-5) has now won five straight conference games, its best streak since opening league play with five wins last season. It is the first time WKU has put together a streak of five straight wins during the month of February or March since winning five straight in the 2009-10 season. Each game during the current streak has come in the form of a win by at least 24 points. It is the first time since 1985-86 that WKU has won five consecutive games by at least 24 points.

WKU shot 57.6 percent from the field for the game, hitting 7-of-14 shots from behind the three-point arc and 19-of-21 from the free throw line. The 90.5 percent clip from the free throw line was the seventh best in program history in a game with at least 20 attempts.

Redshirt freshman Kendall Noble had a game-high 22 points, adding six rebounds, five assists and four steals to lead the Lady Toppers. Junior All-America candidate Chastity Gooch added 16 points and four steals in just 28 minutes of play. Sophomore Jalynn McClain (10 points) and freshman Bria Gaines (15 points) rounded out the four Lady Toppers in double digits.

UT Arlington (4-23, 3-13) had 24 turnovers, leading to 33 points for the Lady Toppers but were able to score 70 points by shooting 51.0 percent for the game.

WKU hit its first five shots and took a 9-0 lead in the opening 2:12 of the game. Hitting 7-of-10 shots to open the game and taking a 15-5 lead at the first media timeout (14:36 mark of first half), WKU would never allow the lead to fall below nine for the remainder of the half.

UT Arlington cut the WKU lead to 10 with a free throw by Tahlia Pope with 6:02 left in the first half before WKU made its second major run of the game, a 15-0 spurt that was sparked by a step-back three-point field goal from Gooch and an additional three from Micah Jones. The run came shortly after UT Arlington made its final field goal of the half with 6:48 remaining.

The Lady Toppers led by 25 at halftime by a score of 52-27, marking the fifth straight game that WKU has led by at least 21 points at the half. The five game streak of leading by at least 20 points at halftime is the longest in program history. The Lady Toppers shot 59.4 percent for the half, including a 4-of-8 clip from behind the three-point arc. WKU also nailed 10-of-11 from the free throw line and forced 13 turnovers by the Mavs.

WKU has just two regular season games remaining before the start of the Sun Belt Conference Championships in New Orleans, La. on March 12. The Lady Toppers are currently in second place in the conference standings, just one game behind Arkansas State.

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