Lady Toppers Battle Past Trojans In 68-56 Road Victory

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (WBKO) --- Raneem Elgedawy turned in a double-double of 17 points and 21 rebounds and WKU outscored Little Rock 26-18 in the final quarter of play as the Lady Toppers picked up their first true road win of the season in a 68-56 decision inside the Jack Stephens Center.

The Lady Toppers (4-6) earned their second straight win, taking down their former Sun Belt rival Little Rock (2-5), which dropped its fifth straight game.

Elgedawy had her second career 20-rebound game, pulling down 21 boards in just 33 minutes of action. The sophomore also picked up her second double-double of the year, adding 17 points. Dee Givens poured in 22 points of her own, her sixth 20-point effort of the season, and Alexis Brewer, who returned to the starting lineup after missing Wednesday’s game against Morgan State, scored 16 points.

Free throws proved to be the difference down the stretch for the Lady Toppers, who connected on 25 of their 29 (86.2 percent) attempts from the charity stripe.

Kyra Collier led the Trojans with 22 points and was joined in double figures by Ronjanae DeGray (10).

Little Rock jumped in front over the opening six minutes, outscoring WKU 11-5 over that span. Sydney Chastain keyed the early run with a three-point play on either side of the first media timeout, and Collier capped the stretch with a jumper at the 4:06 mark.

WKU used five unanswered points to fire right back into the game, and Little Rock was only able to carry a three-point lead, 15-12, after the first 10 minutes of play.

After falling behind by five points early in the second frame, WKU again pieced together a 5-0 run with all points scored by Givens, whose three-pointer in transition knotted the game at 17-17 with 8:55 on the clock. The Lady Toppers’ lead grew to as many as five points on two different occasions midway through the quarter, but eight unanswered points from the Trojans, punctuated by a three-point play from Collier, gave Little Rock a 30-27 edge.

The Lady Toppers refused to back down, however, and scored the final four points of the half on layups by Elgedawy and Givens to carry a 31-30 lead into the locker room.

Back-to-back baskets from Givens and Meral Abdelgawad to open the third quarter built a five-point lead for the Lady Toppers, but Little Rock responded with eight straight points to surge back into the lead. Four different Trojans scored during the run, with Yanina Inkina’s jumper at the 3:17 mark closing out the stretch and giving Little Rock a 38-35 lead late in the third frame.

WKU took control of the game for good with an 11-0 run that stretched into the fourth quarter. Elgedawy and Brewer combined to score all 11 points for the Lady Toppers to put WKU in front by eight points, a lead that it would not relinquish the rest of the way.

WKU will be off for a full week before returning to the court next Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. against Division II powerhouse Bellarmine inside E.A. Diddle Arena. That game will be WKU’s first regular-season bout with the Knights since a 76-44 victory on Jan. 6, 1979, and WKU holds a 7-2 edge in the all-time series.

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