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Lady Toppers Win in Dramatic Fashion at Fairleigh Dickinson

Lady Tops fall to Tenn. Tech
Lady Tops fall to Tenn. Tech(Mohammad Ahmad)
Published: Dec. 18, 2021 at 12:38 AM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Down 12 with 8:19 left in regulation, WKU women’s basketball once again mounted an epic comeback. The Lady Toppers came back to force overtime and won in the second extra period, 92-88.

WKU improves to 7-4 on the season and have won six of their last seven games. The Lady Toppers also conclude the two-game road trip with two wins.

The Lady Toppers started the game on a 7-0 run. The two teams traded baskets for much of the quarter, but a 7-0 run by Fairleigh Dickinson starting at the 3:03 mark tied the game up at 15-all. Foster stopped the run with her first collegiate 3-pointer to put WKU back ahead. The Knights made good on a last second layup just before the end of the quarter to cut it to 18-17.

Fairleigh Dickinson expanded on that layup with five more unanswered points to start the second quarter to take its first lead of the game. WKU followed by scoring six consecutive points of their own to go back ahead by two. From there, the Knights outscored the Lady Toppers 17-7 to take a 39-31 lead into halftime.

The Knights outscored WKU 17-16 in the third quarter to push their lead to 56-47 heading into the fourth quarter. Fairleigh Dickinson tied their largest lead of the game at the 8:19 mark to go ahead 61-49. From that point, the Lady Toppers outscored the Knights 25-13 and held Fairleigh Dickinson to just one field goal in the run to tie up the game.

Abdelgawad capitalized on an and-one opportunity with 46 seconds left in regulation to cut the game to two. The Knights scored on the next possession to go back ahead by four. Blevins cut it to one with a three and then tied the game with another 3-pointer six seconds later after a pair of Knights free throws. Fairleigh Dickinson got the ball back with 10 seconds left, but WKU’s defense held tight to send it to overtime.

The first overtime period, WKU scored seven points on seven made free throws, including three in the final nine seconds to tie up the game. Blevins was fouled with nine seconds left, down four. She made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second. Abdelgawad crashed the boards and got the rebound and was fouled on the putback attempt. She made both free throws with seven seconds remaining. The Lady Toppers once again held the Knights scoreless in the final seconds to force a second overtime.

In the second overtime it was the Abdelgawad and Hope Sivori show. Abdelgawad scored the first points of the frame. Sivori kept WKU in it with a pair of free throws and a jumper in the paint. Down one, Abdelgawad drove and scored a bucket to put WKU back ahead by one. On the other end, she came up with a defensive rebound and made one of two free throws after quickly being fouled. On her missed free throw, she got the offensive rebound and scored to seal the game for the Lady Toppers.

WKU’s 92 points were the second most of the season for the Lady Toppers and the most against a Division I opponent.

Abdelgawad tied her career high in points with 33 in the game. She’s one of only two players in NCAA DI to have scored 33-or-more points in multiple games this season. The senior is now averaging 18.2 points per game. Twenty-five of her 33 points came in the fourth and overtime periods.

Blevins finished with career highs in points (15), rebounds (8) and assists (7). Mya Meredith had 14 points, four rebounds and two steals. Jaylin Foster tied her career high in points with 13 and had a career best nine rebounds along with three assists.

The Lady Toppers dominated in the paint, outscoring the Knights 50-28 in the post. The Lady Toppers also capitalized in transition, scoring 16 on fast breaks compared to Fairleigh Dickinson’s two.

Overall, the game featured 12 lead changes and eight ties.

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