Red-Hot Lady Toppers Off to 6-0 Start to C-USA Play

Lady Tops defeat FAU
Lady Tops defeat FAU(Mohammad Ahmad)
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 11:10 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The WKU women’s basketball team extended its winning streak to eight straight games on Thursday afternoon against Florida Atlantic. The 73-49 win improved the Lady Toppers’ record to 13-4 on the season and 6-0 in Conference USA.

The 6-0 start to league play for WKU is the best since the 2015-16 season. The Lady Toppers’ eight-game win streak is tied for the sixth longest in the country and is the longest for WKU since the Lady Toppers rattled off a 10-game win streak during the 2019-20 season.

“Every one was involved defensively and that’s what’s most important,” said head coach Greg Collins. “They made several good plays on reading passes and going and getting steals. Jaylin Foster, Gabby McBride, Tori Hunter and Selma Kulo were big on the boards. That’s where it starts. We shared the ball. We work on that in practice and its an unselfish bunch. If anything there’s times I have to tell them to look to score.”

It was the fifth straight game WKU has held a team below 70 points and it was the fourth time in the last five games the Lady Toppers have held their opponent below 60.

It was a balanced effort for WKU on the offensive end with 10 total Lady Toppers in the scoring column. The WKU bench provided 36 total points, including nine from Teresa Faustino, eight from Selma Kulo, seven from Hope Sivori, six from Jordan Smith and four from Tori Hunter. For the starters, Mya Meredith led all scorers with 12 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the perimeter. Meral Abdelgawad had 10 points, Alexis Mead added nine and Macey Blevins had six.

“Obviously, it makes you feel good (when the bench is contributing),” said Collins. “In my mind, I think ‘finally’. I see this in practice. I see Teresa do these things in practice every day. I see Selma do these things in practice every day. I know they’re capable of doing that. Jordan Smith makes these plays. She’s improved her 3-point shooting tremendously in the offseason. So, I know that she can make that three. I’m not surprised when they do that. For me as a coach, it’s more of a sigh of relief because now I know they’ll have that confidence to do that in a game.”

The Lady Toppers had 21 assists on 29 made field goals. Mead and Faustino led the way with four each while Abdelgawad and Jenna Walker had three each.

The Owls hit a triple to open the game just 30 seconds in. Abdelgawad put WKU on the board first with a layup at the 8:23 mark. FAU used a 7-0 run to build a 10-2 lead, but a pair of baskets from McBride and Abdelgawad brought the Lady Toppers back within four. WKU outscored the Owls 10-8 from that point to go into the second quarter down, 18-16.

FAU scored the first points of the second quarter, but Kulo scored eight straight points to give WKU a four-point lead. The game went back and forth for most of the second quarter, but a three from Meredith and then a buzzer-beating three from Abdelgawad gave WKU a 41-32 lead at halftime.

The third quarter was sluggish for both teams with a combined 18 points scored. WKU put up 12 points from three 3-pointers and three free throws. The Owls scored only three field goals in the frame. The Lady Toppers outscored FAU 20-11 in the final quarter.

WKU will be back home on Saturday, Jan. 22 at noon to take on FIU. The two teams met just two weeks ago in Miami. The Lady Toppers were victorious in that matchup, 63-51.

WKU will be honoring the 1992 Lady Toppers during Saturday’s game. WKU was the National Runner-Up in 1992, collecting its third Final Four along the way. The first 500 fans in the building will receive a shirsey replica of the 1992 jerseys.

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