Three Lady Toppers receive All-C-USA honors

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DALLAS – Dee Givens earned First Team All-C-USA and All-Defensive Team honors, Raneem Elgedawy captured a spot on the Second Team and Meral Abdelgawad was named to the All-Freshman Team as announced by the conference office on Monday morning.

With both Givens and Elgedawy earning all-conference honors, the Lady Toppers have now had multiple all-conference recipients in each of their five seasons as a league member. Both all-conference honors are the first of Givens' and Elgedawy's careers, though the two each won an individual award following the 2017-18 campaign as Givens was named Sixth Player of the Year and Elgedawy took home Freshman of the Year accolades.

Abdelgawad becomes the third Lady Topper to be named to the All-Freshman Team, joining former C-USA Player of the Year Tashia Brown and Elgedawy, who was a 2018 selection.

As a program, WKU is one of only four programs this season, alongside Rice, UAB and Middle Tennessee, to have multiple All-Conference selections. Rice and UAB each had three players selected, while Middle Tennessee and the Lady Toppers each had a pair.

Givens turned in a strong campaign in her first season as a primary starter, shouldering much of the scoring load by averaging 18 points per game to lead the Lady Toppers and rank third among all C-USA players. The redshirt junior had 14 games with at least 20 points, including a career-best 31-point outburst at FIU on Jan. 17. Givens also finished the regular season as the second-best three-point shooter in C-USA at a 43.2 percent clip (73-of-169), with her 73 makes from beyond the arc ranking fourth for a single season in program history; for her career, Givens has drained 157 three-pointers, already the ninth-most in history by a Lady Topper with a full season still remaining.

Defensively, Givens shined with 91 total steals, the second-best ever by a Lady Topper and 30 more than any other C-USA player this season. The Lexington, Ky., native had five or more steals in six games this season, including a pair of games with eight steals against Marshall (Jan. 12) and at North Texas (March 2). Givens is one of only seven Division I players in the nation with multiple eight-steal games this season and is the first Lady Topper in school history to have two such games in the same campaign.

The reigning C-USA Sixth Player of the Year, Givens' First Team honor is the 12th for WKU since Greg Collins joined the staff prior to the 2012-13 season, and she is the sixth different Lady Topper to earn First Team All-Conference honors over that stretch.

A year removed from being named the C-USA Freshman of the Year, Elgedawy enjoyed a strong sophomore season while improving virtually all of her numbers. Her scoring jumped more than seven points to 16 points per game, the sixth-best among all C-USA players, and her 7.4 rebounds per game led all Lady Toppers and ranked seventh in the conference.

The Alexandria, Egypt, native's strengths were on full display during WKU's Florida swing in January, when she captured C-USA Player of the Week honors and was named to the NCAA Weekly Starting Five after 28 points at FIU and a 25-point, 16-rebound game at Florida Atlantic. After having no 20-point games as a freshman, Elgedawy exploded for six such games this season, including her 27-point game at UTEP on Feb. 3. In that game, she tallied 21 second-half points and scored the go-ahead basket with 10 seconds remaining as WKU engineering a 12-point comeback victory.

Elgedawy is the first international player to earn All-Conference honors in Lady Topper Basketball history and is currently on pace to approach 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for her career.

Abdelgawad was among the top freshmen in C-USA this season, averaging 8.9 points per game with 12 double-digit outings, including 20-point games against Union (Tenn.) (26) and Old Dominion (22). The Cairo, Egypt, native captured C-USA Freshman of the Week honors three times, just one shy of the program record set by Elgedawy last season, and nearly led the Lady Toppers to an upset at Oklahoma in just her second game, finishing with 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

The freshman finished the regular season shooting 50.3 percent (92-of-183) from the floor, the top qualifying number by a guard in C-USA this season, and shot 50 percent or better in 15 games while flashing her efficiency.

WKU will begin play in the 2019 C-USA Tournament inside The Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas, on Thursday morning at 11:30 a.m. The Lady Toppers finished in a tie for third place in the C-USA standings and will have the No. 4 seed in the tournament, facing off against either Old Dominion or Florida Atlantic in their opening game on Thursday before a potential rematch with top-seeded Rice, who went undefeated in C-USA play, in Friday's semifinals.