IRVING, Texas – For the second straight week, Meral Abdelgawad has been named the
C-USA Freshman of the Week as announced by the conference office on Monday
afternoon, becoming WKU’s first player in program history to earn back-to-back
freshman weekly awards.
The Cairo, Egypt, native helped to lead WKU to a pair of victories to open C-USA
play last week, knocking off Charlotte, 76-58, on Thursday evening before downing
Old Dominion on Saturday afternoon, 75-60. With the two wins, WKU has now started
2-0 in conference play in each of its five seasons as a member of C-USA.
Abdelgawad is the first C-USA player to earn outright back-to-back Freshman of the
Week awards since Marshall’s Ashley Saintigene accomplished the feat on Dec. 23,
2016, and Jan. 2, 2017. She also joins Tashia Brown (three times in 2014-15) and
Raneem Elgedawy (four times in 2017-18) as the only Lady Toppers to earn Freshman of
the Week honors more than once.
On Thursday against Charlotte, Abdelgawad tallied seven points and three steals as
WKU led nearly wire-to-wire over the 49ers. The freshman shined on Saturday
afternoon, however, pouring in 22 points and also collected five rebounds, two
assists and two steals to help knock off the Monarchs. Of Abdelgawad’s 22 points, 11
came during the third quarter as she caught fire from the three-point line, knocking
down three triples in a two and a half minute span to turn a seven-point WKU
advantage into a 14-point lead; ODU would not get back within single digits for the
remainder of the game.
Over her last three games dating back to Dec. 29 against Union (Tenn.), Abdelgawad
is averaging 18.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game while shooting 65.5
percent (19-of-29) from the field. With her 22-point game on Saturday, she also
became the first WKU true freshman to have multiple 20-point games since Alexis
Govan during the 2011-12 campaign.
Abdelgawad and the Lady Toppers will remain off until Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
when Marshall visits E.A. Diddle Arena. The Thundering Herd also knocked off
Charlotte and Old Dominion last week, but the Lady Toppers own a 10-1 lead in the
all-time series over their travel partner.