Lady Topper Basketball to Face Baylor in NCAA Tournament

By: Robert Sampson, WKU Athletic Media Relations
By: Robert Sampson, WKU Athletic Media Relations

WKU (24-8, 13-5) is set to make its 17th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament this weekend, but first since the 2007-08 season.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Following a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the conference championship game to reach the NCAA Tournament, No. 15 seed WKU will face No. 2 seed Baylor in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Division One Women's Basketball Championships on Saturday, March 22. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. CT at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 with Pam Ward (play-by-play) and Carolyn Peck (analyst) on the call.

WKU (24-8, 13-5) is set to make its 17th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament this weekend, but first since the 2007-08 season. The Lady Toppers have a storied history in the tournament, reaching the Final Four in 1985, 1986 and 1992. The program owns a 17-16 overall record in the NCAA Tournament.

WKU secured the Sun Belt Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by posting a 61-60 win over Arkansas State in the title game of the Sun Belt Conference Championships on Saturday night. WKU scored 18 of the final 22 points of the game to beat Red Wolves, marking the fourth time this season that WKU has overcome a double-digit deficit to win a game. Junior All-America candidate and tournament MVP Chastity Gooch had 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead WKU. Redshirt freshman Kendall Noble hit a layup with 1:21 remaining in the game that would become the difference maker in the one-point win. Noble finished with 12 points. It was the 10th conference tournament title in program history for WKU.

WKU enters the NCAA Tournament with a 10-game winning streak, marking just the third time amongst WKU's 17 NCAA Tournament appearances that the team will enter the tournament with a double-digit winning streak.

In just her second season at WKU, head coach Michelle Clark-Heard has led her alma mater to the NCAA Tournament by way of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship. Having recorded 24 wins, WKU is enjoying its second consecutive 20-win season as the program continues to climb the ladder to rejoin the elites programs of women's college basketball. WKU is the first team in Sun Belt Conference history to win 20 games in consecutive seasons following a season in which the team won less than 10 games. WKU was 9-21 in 2011-12 before rebounding to post a 22-11 record in 2012-13 and a 24-8 record this season. By reaching 20 wins this season, WKU recorded back-to-back 20 win seasons for the first time since recording six straight 20-win seasons from 2002-03 through 2007-08.

The game will mark the first ever meeting between WKU and Baylor.


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