GAME NOTES: Lady Tops hit road in search of No. 1 seed

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – With the No. 1 seed in next week’s C-USA Tournament and a share of the regular season conference championship on the line, WKU will make the trip west to face North Texas inside the Super Pit on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. to kick off the final weekend of C-USA regular season action.

The Lady Toppers lead the all-time series against the Mean Green 15-6 and have won each of the last four meetings. Last season, the two sides stayed close for the majority of the matchup before WKU pulled away for the 65-53 win inside E.A. Diddle Arena.

North Texas enters Thursday’s matchup on a two-game losing streak and dropped a 70-48 decision at Southern Miss in its last time out last Saturday. Prior to losing back-to-back games, however, the Mean Green owned a five-game winning streak.

Entering Thursday, North Texas has two players in double figures in Terriell Bradley (12.7) and Terra Ellison (10.6) leading the charge on offense. Ellison also leads the team in rebounding at a 5.9 per game clip, while Kelsey Criner, a 2016 C-USA All-Defensive honoree, leads North Texas with 84 assists and 44 steals.

Following Thursday’s game, WKU will wrap up the regular season at Rice on Saturday at 2 p.m. before awaiting its quarterfinal opponent in the C-USA Tournament.

WKU (22-6, 14-2 C-USA) at North Texas (11-16, 8-8 C-USA)
March 2, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. (CT)
Denton, Texas | The Super Pit (10,500)
WKU Game Notes

– With a victory last Saturday, WKU became one of just seven schools in the nation to finish with zero or one home losses in each of the last three seasons. The Lady Toppers join UConn, Baylor, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Green Bay and South Dakota in that category.

– Should WKU defeat North Texas on Thursday, the Lady Toppers would earn at least a share of the C-USA regular season championship for the second time in three seasons as a member of the conference.

– WKU is ranked No. 7 in ESPNW’s final mid-major power rankings of the regular season.

– WKU’s 194 three-pointers this season have already broken the single-season program record from beyond the arc. WKU has seven or more three-pointers in 17 games this season after hitting that mark just 10 times during the 2015-16 campaign.

– Under Michelle Clark-Heard, WKU has trailed by double digits in 41 games and has rallied to win 18 times (43.9 percent of the time) when facing a double-digit deficit. Seven of those victories have come in the last two seasons alone, including wins this season after trailing by 14 (Kent State) and 13 (UAB and Charlotte).

– Redshirt senior Micah Jones became the 38th member of WKU’s 1,000-point club with a season-best 16 points at UAB on Feb. 18. Jones is the third active Lady Topper to join the club after teammates Kendall Noble and Tashia Brown and is also the fifth player to reach the mark under Michelle Clark-Heard. WKU is one of just nine Division I programs with three or more active 1,000-point scorers.

– Jones leads all C-USA players and ranks second among all Division I players with a 3.68 assist-to-turnover ratio this season. Jones has dished out 118 assists to just 32 turnovers and now ranks seventh on WKU’s career charts in the category with 423 assists.

– With at least three guaranteed games remaining on the schedule, Micah Jones and Kendall Noble appear set to finish in the top five for career appearances among Lady Toppers in program history. With three more appearances, Jones would tie for second alongside Laura Ogles with 134, while Noble would match the 132 appearances by Veronica Cook and tie for fourth in school history.

– Kendall Noble became the all-time leader in minutes played in Lady Topper history in the win at Middle Tennessee on Feb 16. The redshirt senior currently sits at 4,252 minutes played and is one of just three players in school history to play 4,000 or more minutes.

– With Micah Jones joining the 1,000-point club, WKU has a trio of 1,000-point scorers on the same team for just the second time in school history. Kendall Noble, Tashia Brown and Jones have matched the feat achieved by Lillie Mason, Kami Thomas and Clemette Haskins during the 1985-86 campaign.

– As a team, WKU is currently fifth in the nation with just 11.5 turnovers per game, a number that also leads C-USA for fewest among the league’s teams.

– Ivy Brown has moved into the top 10 on WKU’s all-time career blocked shots list. Brown now has 87 swats for her career and sits in ninth place all-time for the Lady Toppers.

– WKU owns C-USA’s top-scoring offense through 28 games, averaging 75.5 points per outing. The Lady Toppers have scored 80 or more points nine times this season and have reached 90 points three times and trail only Louisville’s 75.6 points per game among teams in the state of Kentucky.

– Now fifth in school history with 185 three-pointers, Micah Jones needs just nine more to pass Kristina Covington (1998-2003) for fourth place on the charts.

– WKU is shooting 393-of-511 (76.9 percent) from the free throw line this season, an improvement of eight percent from the 2015-16 season. Currently, WKU ranks 13th among all Division I teams in free-throw percentage this season.

– WKU broke the NCAA women’s basketball record for fewest points allowed in a half by holding Lipscomb to just two first-half points on Dec. 15. The mark was also the fewest in men’s basketball since the introduction of the shot clock. In addition, WKU had six players reach double figures for the first time since Jan. 21, 2009, in the victory, a stretch of nearly eight years.

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