Lady Toppers Fall in Double Overtime Thriller

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WBKO) - Saturday’s game between the WKU women’s basketball team and Middle Tennessee was one for the books. The game went to overtime for only the fourth time out of 76 games and double overtime for the second time in series history. Middle Tennessee won the double overtime battle, 108-103, in Murfreesboro.

The Lady Toppers fall to 20-7 on the season and 12-4 in Conference USA. The loss snaps a 10-game winning streak dating back to Jan. 18.

The 211 combined points scored by the two teams were the most in a game in the storied history between the two programs that began in the 1924-25 season. WKU’s 103 points were the third most scored by a Lady Topper team playing on the road in school history.

Alexis Brewer led the Lady Toppers with a career-high 28 points on the night. Brewer stepped up by making 4-of-7 from 3-point range and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe. Dee Givens had her seventh 20-point performance of the season with 24 in the game. She also had six rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Raneem Elgedawy notched her 15th double-double of the season with 19 points and 18 rebounds. Her 15 double-doubles are tied for the eighth most by a Lady Topper in a single season. Meral Abdelgawad had 13 points and Whitney Creech had 11 to round out the double-digit scorers for WKU.

Middle Tennessee was the first to score, but WKU quickly answered when Elgedawy found a streaking Creech for the backdoor pass and layup. Both teams traded baskets throughout the quarter, but turnovers plagued the Lady Toppers early. WKU had three in the first six minutes of the game. Brewer beat the first quarter buzzer with a corner three to bring WKU within two going into the second quarter.

The Lady Raiders scored first in the second quarter, but the Lady Toppers responded with a 7-0 run capped off with a 3-pointer from Givens that gave WKU its first lead of the game. That lead lasted for a little over 30 seconds when Middle Tennessee tied it up with a layup and then retook the lead with a pair of free throws. Both teams went back-and-forth but the Lady Raiders used a pair of threes to give themselves some distance, taking a 40-32 lead at halftime.

Despite WKU scoring the first points of the second half, Middle Tennessee outscored the Lady Toppers 13-8 in the first eight minutes of the third quarter to take its largest lead of the game going ahead by 13 points. Back-to-back baskets by Abdelgawad cut it back to single digits, but a pair of Lady Raider free throws stretched the score back to 11. Elgedawy made the front end of a pair of free throws and then just before the end of the quarter, got a defensive rebound and went the distance down the floor for the layup, cutting the game to 55-47.

In a hole to start the fourth quarter, the Lady Toppers wasted no time using a 10-0 run to open the period, retaking the lead for the first time since early in the second quarter. The two teams went back-and-forth a few times, but Middle Tennessee used a 10-2 run to push back ahead by eight with 3:58 left in the game. With their backs against the wall, the Lady Toppers responded by scoring eight unanswered points to once against take a one-point lead. A timely 3-pointer by Middle Tennessee with 1:37 left gave the Lady Raiders a two-point lead, but Brewer knocked down two free throws after being fouled to force overtime.

The first overtime period started with both teams scoring back-and-forth. The Lady Toppers fell behind by one point, but Elgedawy scored four straight points to give WKU a three-point lead, the largest of the frame. The Lady Raiders came back with a three-pointer to once again tie the game. A few plays later, Brewer scored for the Lady Toppers on a banked floaters to give WKU a one-point lead with 30 seconds left in the period. With just four seconds left, a Lady Raider knocked down a three-pointer to put Middle Tennessee up by two. Creech got the ball for WKU with three seconds left and drove to the basket and drawing a foul. Creech made both free throws to force a second overtime with only .1 seconds left.

Middle Tennessee outscored WKU 17-12 in the second overtime to claim the 108-103 win.

The Lady Toppers had season highs in rebounds (53) and free throw makes (23), free throw attempts (35) and field goals attempts (89). The 89 field goal attempts were the second most by a Lady Topper team in a game.

WKU closes out the regular season with a pair of home games next week. The Lady Toppers host Charlotte on Thursday at 6 p.m. and then Louisiana Tech on Saturday at 2 p.m. for Senior Day.

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