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Noble scores 19 in the second half, lifts WKU to 60-48 win over UAB

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Redshirt senior Kendall Noble scored 19 of her 24 points in the second half and WKU overcame an early 13-point deficit to earn a 60-48 win over UAB in the sixth annual Spread the Red Education Day game inside E.A. Diddle Arena on Thursday afternoon.

UAB jumped out to a 13-point lead in the second quarter before WKU’s defense stifled the Blazers in the second half, holding UAB to just 4-of-23 shooting (17.4 percent) over the final 20 minutes. The comeback marked WKU’s second time this season overcoming a double-digit deficit after also accomplishing the feat against Kent State on Nov. 26.

Noble led all scorers with 24 points and added eight rebounds, seven steals and four assists on the day. Tashia Brown joined her in double figures with 10 points and also pitched in four rebounds and a pair of blocks for the Lady Toppers.

As a team, WKU rebounded from a cold first half to shoot 12-of-27 (44.4 percent) over the final 20 minutes. The Lady Toppers also forced 25 UAB turnovers on the day and came away with 14 steals to hold the Blazers at bay down the stretch.

Rachael Childress led UAB with 13 points and was joined in double figures by Keonna Farmer with 12 points. Farmer tallied a double-double with 15 rebounds to lead all players.

UAB jumped in front early on, hitting their first four three-point attempts on the afternoon en route to a 14-6 lead after the first five minutes. Childress knocked down a pair of triples for the Blazers before Tashia Brown ended the early burst with a mid-range jumper at the 4:42 mark to pull the Lady Toppers within six points.

WKU could not pull any closer than that six-point margin over the remainder of the first quarter as the Blazers carried a 10-point advantage, 22-12, after the opening 10 minutes.

After UAB’s lead grew to as many as 13 points early in the second quarter, the Lady Topper defense clamped down, holding the Blazers without a point for eight minutes. Over that same time frame, WKU fought its way back into the game with seven straight points, and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers’ three-pointer with nine seconds remaining slashed the deficit to five points, 31-26, at the halftime break.

Beginning with Goodin-Rogers’ triple to close the first half, WKU used a 12-0 run over a three-minute period to completely erase the earlier deficit and secure its first lead of the day. Goodin-Rogers tallied five points during the run while Noble added four for the Lady Toppers; Goodin-Rogers’ free throws with 7:08 on the clock put WKU up 35-31 over the Blazers.

Four straight points from UAB knotted the contest at 37-37 four minutes later. Kara Rawls and Imani Johnson each hit layups to tie the score, but WKU answered back with seven consecutive points. Noble added five more during the stretch and Tashia Brown punctuated the run with a fast-break layup to take a 44-37 lead that the Lady Toppers maintained through the end of the quarter.

Midway through the final quarter, the Blazers whittled WKU’s advantage down to just three points, 50-47, with 6:10 to play. Despite closing to a one-possession gap, WKU refused to relinquish the momentum and ended the game on a 10-1 run over the final six minutes to earn the hard-fought 60-48 victory.

WKU will continue its three-game homestand with a visit from archrival Middle Tennessee on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. The Lady Toppers split last year’s meetings with the Blue Raiders, including a 62-51 win in Bowling Green on Feb. 25, 2016. Sunday’s game is set to be carried on Fox College Sports and locally on WKU PBS.

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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