MIAMI, Fla. (WBKO) --- Dee Givens and Raneem Elgedawy both produced career-best scoring days and WKU enjoyed another hot-shooting performance on Thursday afternoon inside the Ocean Bank Convocation Center, downing FIU, 94-82, to remain perfect in C-USA action this season.
Givens’ seven three-pointers were tied for the second most in a single game in school history, and the Lexington, Ky., native broke the 30-point barrier for the first time in her career with 31 points. Of Givens’ 31 points, 15 came in a scorching third quarter that saw her knock down five of her triples, including three in a two-minute span for the Lady Toppers (10-8, 4-0 C-USA).
Elgedawy was also dominant in the post on Thursday afternoon, scoring a career-high 28 points and falling just shy of a double-double with nine rebounds. In two career games against FIU, Elgedawy has averaged 20.5 points and 15.5 rebounds after posting 13 points and 23 boards last season.
Alexis Brewer (14) and Meral Abdelgawad (11) also reached double figures for the Lady Toppers. As a team, WKU enjoyed its sharpest shooting of the season, knocking down 38 of its 67 shots (56.7 percent), including a 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) mark from beyond the arc.
FIU (3-15, 0-5 C-USA) had five players in double figures, led by Chelsea Guimaraes with 16 points. Paris Netherly (13), Ce’Nara Skanes (12), Paula Orenes (10) and Kylee O’Hara (10) also had strong games for the Panthers.
WKU jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after a three-pointers from Givens and a pair of free throws by Elgedawy, but the Panthers roared back by scoring six of the next eight points to cut WKU’s advantage to just one point after Guimaraes’ layup with 7:32 on the clock.
Another run, this time 7-2 from the Panthers, gave FIU its first lead of the morning on Orenes’ two shots from the charity stripe at the 4:23 mark. WKU quickly retook the lead on Brewer’s jumper 20 seconds later, but neither side was able to take more than a two-point edge for the remainder of the first quarter.
That trend continued into the second frame until Elgedawy stepped up with five straight points, including the first three-pointer of her collegiate career, to push the Lady Toppers to a 31-28 lead midway through the quarter. A three-minute scoring drought hampered WKU, however, and allowed FIU to get out to a 39-35 edge with just over two minutes remaining before the halftime break.
WKU refused to trail heading into halftime, though, and scored eight of the final 11 points of the half, including Sherry Porter’s layup with one second left that gave the Lady Toppers a 43-42 halftime lead.
The third quarter finally saw WKU break away from FIU behind Givens’ hot shooting. The redshirt junior tallied 15 points in the quarter on five three-pointers, and the Lady Toppers poured in 34 points to outscore the Panthers by 17 and seize control of the contest. Givens, who had an off-balance triple that fell just off the mark at the buzzer, fell just shy of setting the record for points in a quarter by a single Lady Topper since moving to the format in 2015-16.
In the final quarter, FIU was unable to close back within single digits of the Lady Toppers, who cruised to their fifth straight win in the 94-82 decision.
WKU will close its first road trip of C-USA play on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. (CT) at Florida Atlantic. The Lady Toppers own eight straight wins over the Owls dating back to a 71-60 win on Feb. 15, 2012, the program’s second-longest active winning streak against a current C-USA member. Following that battle, WKU will be back inside E.A. Diddle Arena next Thursday at 6 p.m. against Southern Miss for its next home game.