SAN ANTONIO, Texas (WBKO) --- Dee Givens poured in 25 points, WKU forced 23 turnovers and the Lady Toppers cruised to an 81-62 victory inside the UTSA Convocation Center on Thursday afternoon, WKU’s first-ever road win over the Roadrunners.
WKU (13-9, 7-1 C-USA) took control of the game early by outscoring UTSA 22-15 in the first quarter and did not look back, never trailing over the final 38 minutes of the contest. The Lady Toppers have now defeated each of the 13 other C-USA schools on the road at least once since joining the league in 2014-15.
Givens’ 25 points were a team-high and was joined in double figures by Raneem Elgedawy (16), Meral Abdelgawad (13) and Sherry Porter (11). As a team, the Lady Toppers knocked down 29 of their 63 (46 percent) chances from the field and were 9 of 21 (42.9 percent) from three-point range. WKU outrebounded the Roadrunners, 31-29, and remains perfect at 8-0 this season when winning the rebounding battle.
Marie Benson led UTSA (6-14, 1-7 C-USA) with 26 points and nine rebounds despite playing much of the final quarter with four fouls. Barbara Benson was the only other Roadrunner in double figures with 14 points. UTSA was plagued by 23 turnovers on the day, which WKU turned into 29 points through its transition offense.
After UTSA’s Marie Benson scored the first basket of the game, WKU went on a tear, scoring 11 of the next 13 points to surge into an early lead. A trio of three-pointers, two from Givens and another from Porter, keyed the early barrage from the Lady Toppers, and Givens’ second triple put WKU in front, 11-4, at the 6:25 mark.
The Roadrunners whittled their deficit back down to two points with just over a minute remaining in the opener quarter, but the Lady Toppers fired back in a big way, scoring the game’s next 14 points stretching into the second quarter. Six points from Givens again helped to lead the run and pushed WKU to its largest lead of the afternoon to that point.
Both sides battled almost evenly through the halftime break before WKU scored the final six points heading into the locker room. Whitney Creech scored on a driving layup with no time on the clock to send the Lady Toppers into halftime with a 52-33 edge over the Roadrunners.
Marie Benson knocked down the first shot of the third quarter for the Roadrunners, but WKU fired back with a 9-2 run over the next three minutes to take its first 20-point lead of the afternoon. Porter kick-started the run with a three-point play and added two more free throws to help push the Lady Toppers to a 61-37 lead midway through the frame.
WKU maintained its 20-point lead until the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, when the Roadrunners pieced together an 8-0 run to close the gap to 18 points. Marie Benson scored four points during the stretch, but the late comeback attempt fell far short as WKU held on for the 81-62 victory.
WKU will remain on the road to close out its west Texas road trip, travel to El Paso on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. (CT) to face UTEP. The Lady Toppers will be looking to avenge an 80-75 setback inside the Don Haskins Center in last year’s regular season finale that cost WKU a share of the C-USA regular season championship. Following Saturday’s bout, WKU will return to E.A. Diddle Arena for an important clash on Thursday with Rice, the lone unbeaten team remaining in C-USA.