Lady Toppers fight back from 15-point deficit to win 75-71 against UAB

Lady Tops rallied back to win over UAB after being down double digits in the first half
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 4:22 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU women’s basketball (6-8, 3-2 C-USA) once again rallied back to win after being down double digits in the first half, this time defeating UAB (9-6, 1-5 C-USA), 75-71, after falling behind by 15 after the first quarter.

“We can put points up in a hurry, but what’s happening is we’re getting off to a poor defensive start and we have to do a better job with that,” said head coach Greg Collins. “We gave up a 30-point first quarter…then we come back and hold them to seven points in the second quarter. We had a stretch where we held them scoreless for five possessions and then seven possessions, so 12 of their possessions in the second quarter they didn’t score. We have to do that from the jump ball.”

Mya Meredith had a season high 19 points along with four rebounds and three steals. The sophomore was 3-of-6 from the 3-point line. Acacia Hayes had her second straight double-digit game with 14 points. Josie Gilvin finished with nine points, five rebounds and three steals Jaylin Foster had five points, five rebounds and two steals. Hope Sivori added nine points, two rebounds and two steals.

UAB was hot from 3-point range early, going 6-of-11 from beyond the arc in the first quarter for a 30-point period. The Blazers were ahead 30-15 going into the second quarter. The Blazers kept a double-digit lead for a large portion of the second quarter. Down 14 with 4:29 to play in the first half, WKU mounted a 12-0 run to cut the Blazers’ lead down to two just before the halftime break. The run started with a layup from Hayes and continued with a steal and a transition basket from Gilvin, a layup from Meredith, a three from Macey Blevins and a three from Meredith.

The Blazers cushioned the lead with back-to-back baskets to open the second half and kept a multiple possession lead until midway through the quarter. At the 4:29 mark of the period, the Lady Toppers were down 49-43. Teresa Faustino got a layup to go and kicked off a 9-0 run that would put WKU ahead for the first time in the game. Foster made a jumper to cut the lead to two. Sivori made a steal at the halfcourt line and made a behind-the-back pass to Faustino to complete the fast break and tie the game. Blevins made a three with 3:03 left in the quarter to put WKU ahead. For the final three minutes, WKU and UAB traded baskets but the Blazers took a 56-55 lead into the fourth quarter.

Gilvin made a three to open the fourth quarter, giving WKU the lead back. From there, the game had four lead changes and two ties. WKU held the lead from 7:50 to 2:31 when a three from UAB gave the Blazers a 68-67 lead. UAB followed with a layup to go ahead by three with 1:47 left.

Sivori made a three with 1:29 left to tie the game. UAB went ahead by one after going 1-of-2 from the free throw line. With 36 seconds left, Meredith was fouled and made both free throws to put WKU ahead. Sivori came up with a steal on the Blazers’ following possession and Hayes made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe. Meredith also came up with a steal and made two free throws to seal the game.

WKU will make a Florida road trip to take on FIU on Saturday, Jan. 14 and Florida Atlantic on Monday, Jan. 16. The Lady Toppers will be back in Diddle Arena on Thursday, Jan. 19 against Louisiana Tech.