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Lady Tops beat FAU in C-USA opener

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Kyvin Goodin-Rogers and Kendall Noble each scored 13 points in a balanced effort for WKU in the Lady Toppers’ C-USA opener on Friday evening, a 76-55 victory over Florida Atlantic inside E.A. Diddle Arena.

Goodin-Rogers and Noble led all scorers with 13 points apiece on Friday evening and were joined in double figures by Jaycee Coe (12) and Tashia Brown (11); Coe knocked down four shots from beyond the arc on the night. Ivy Brown pulled down 14 rebounds to go with nine points, falling just shy of a double-double, and Noble dished out a game-high five assists.

Malia Kency was the lone Florida Atlantic player in double figures with 12 points; Sasha Cedeno, Katelyn O’Reilly and Jacey Bailey each finished with nine points. The Owls were outrebounded 52-30 on the night and were held to 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) from three-point range.

WKU established a lead out of the gate with three-pointers on its first two possessions of the night. Goodin-Rogers opener the scoring with a shot from beyond the arc in the right corner, and Micah Jones knocked down a triple less than a minute later to add to the early Lady Topper advantage.

Florida Atlantic trimmed WKU’s lead to three points, 8-5, but the Lady Toppers responded with a 9-2 run over the next four minutes to build their first double-digit lead of the evening. Noble keyed the stretch with five points and helped to give WKU a 24-16 edge at the end of the opening quarter.

Late in the second frame and holding a 38-23 lead, WKU tallied nine straight points en route to a 24-point lead over the Owls. Tashia Brown chipped in six of the points during the run for the Lady Toppers, and Coe’s second three-pointer of the night capped the burst. Florida Atlantic got a late layup just before the half as WKU carried a 47-25 lead into the locker room.

WKU’s lead grew to as many as 25 points late in the third quarter before Florida Atlantic used a 7-0 run to cut into the deficit. Kency scored four of the points during the run for the Owls, and Bailey punctuated the run with a layup to cut the Lady Toppers’ lead to 62-44 with just 22 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Coe halted the Florida Atlantic run at the buzzer to end the quarter with a long three-pointer, sending WKU into the final 10 minutes with a 65-44 edge.

The Owls again cut WKU’s lead to 18 points midway through the fourth quarter, but the Lady Toppers did not allow Florida Atlantic any closer down the stretch, scoring five unanswered to end the run and seal the 76-55 win to kick off conference play.

WKU will wrap up its five-game homestand and close the opening weekend of C-USA play on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. with a visit from FIU inside Diddle Arena. The Lady Toppers own a 27-9 edge in the all-time series against the Panthers and have won three in a row in the series, including a 71-69 win in Miami last season.

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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