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GAME NOTES: Lady Tops open C-USA play at home Friday

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU will open its 2016-17 C-USA slate on Friday evening at 7 p.m. as the Lady Toppers welcome Florida Atlantic to E.A. Diddle Arena. The game will also be WKU’s final contest of the 2016 calendar year; the Lady Toppers have put together a 26-9 record (.743) since January 1 of this year.

The Lady Toppers are coming off a 68-61 victory over Ball State last Wednesday that saw WKU hold off a late rally from the Cardinals for the win. Florida Atlantic holds a 4-7 record and has dropped five of its last six outings, including a 76-59 loss to Maryland-Eastern Shore in its last time out on Dec. 17.

Florida Atlantic is led by 10.5 points per game from Sasha Cedeno, the lone Owl in double figures. Raven Doyle has pulled down a team-best 7.5 rebounds per game, and Julia Jenike has dished out 27 assists to lead the Owls. Florida Atlantic owns a +4.0 rebounding margin, but also averages 5.7 more turnovers per game than its opponents.

WKU owns a 15-2 all-time record against the Owls and has won six in a row in the series dating back to Feb. 15, 2012, including an 81-62 win in Boca Raton, Fla., last year.

Following Friday’s game, WKU will close out its five-game homestand with a visit from FIU on Sunday at 2 p.m. to conclude the opening weekend of C-USA play.

GAME #13 – WKU VS. FLORIDA ATLANTIC
WKU (8-4, 0-0 C-USA) vs. Florida Atlantic (4-7, 0-0 C-USA)
December 30, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. (CT)
Bowling Green, Ky. | E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326)
WKU Game Notes

QUICK SHOTS
– WKU owns a 24-8 record (.750) in conference openers all-time and has a 3-1 mark in such games under Michelle Clark-Heard. The Lady Toppers have won both conference openers since joining C-USA prior to the 2014-15 season.

– Redshirt senior Kendall Noble eclipsed the 1,500-point mark with 11 points against Ball State on Dec. 21, becoming one of only 12 players in WKU history to reach that mark. Noble, with 1,504 points for her career, needs 102 to catch former teammate and All-American Alexis Govan for 11th place in the record book.

– Ivy Brown sits atop C-USA and ranks 19th in the nation among all players by making 59.6 percent (59-of-99) of her attempts from the field. That represents a huge leap from both her freshman (29.1 percent) and sophomore (48.3 percent) campaigns on The Hill. Brown also has the most total rebounds among C-USA players through 12 games, pulling down 109 boards (49 offensive, 60 defensive), and is WKU’s top three-point shooter at 42.5 percent (17-of-40).

– As a team, WKU is shooting 183-of-233 (78.5 percent) from the free throw line this season, an improvement of nine percent from the 2015-16 season. Currently, WKU ranks ninth among all Division I teams in free-throw percentage this season.

– Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard earned her 200th total win at WKU as both a coach and a player in Dec. 21’s win over Ball State. Clark-Heard captured 89 wins during her four years on The Hill as a student-athlete and has picked up 111 wins since arriving as the head coach before the 2012-13 season.

– Freshman Whitney Creech became WKU’s first C-USA Freshman of the Week selection since Tashia Brown on March 2, 2015, with her selection on Dec. 19. Creech averaged 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and four assists in WKU’s two victories that week and is shooting an incredible 55.1 percent (27-of-49) from the floor 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.

– Junior Tashia Brown became the 37th member of the Lady Toppers’ 1,000-point club with 18 points at Austin Peay on Dec. 3 and now has 1,064 points for her career in just 80 games. The Lake Park, Ga., native joined teammate Kendall Noble (1,504 points) in the category and is the fourth player to enter under Coach Clark-Heard.

– WKU has tallied multiple 90-point games in a single season for the first time since 2014-15, when the Lady Toppers broke the 90-point barrier five times. WKU holds a perfect 45-0 record under Michelle Clark-Heard when scoring 80 or more points.

– WKU has started a true freshman in at least five games in each of the last three seasons. Tashia Brown earned five starts in 2014-15, Kayla Smith drew 31 starts in 2015-16 and Sarah Price has appeared in the starting lineup five times thus far in 2016-17.

– Already eighth in school history with 158 three-pointers, Micah Jones needs just seven more to pass Renee Westmoreland (1990-93) for seventh place on the charts.

BROADCAST
Listen: 102.7 FM, 1450AM in Bowling Green (Barry Williams, pxp; Laurie Idlett, analysis)
Watch: WKUSports.tv (Online Stream)
Live Stats: WKUSports.com

PROMOTIONS
– FREE PARKING FOR ALL FANS

TICKETS
WKU Ticket Office: online at WKUSports.com, in person at E.A. Diddle Arena, via phone at 1-800-5-BIG Red or 745-5222 locally

How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Lady Topper Basketball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the program via social media @LadyTopperHoops on Twitter, @LadyTopperHoops on Instagram and on Facebook at facebook.com/WKUWomensBasketball.

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