BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU is set to close out its 2016-17 non-conference slate with a visit from Ball State on Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader that will feature the Hilltoppers against Ohio following the women’s matchup.
In their last time out on Sunday, WKU weathered a big second-half comeback from College of Charleston and responded with 29 fourth-quarter points to earn an 89-76 win over the Cougars inside Diddle Arena. Ivy Brown led the way with a 21-point, 17-rebound effort, setting a new career-high for boards.
Ball State is led by 17.6 points per game from Renee Bennett and also gets double digits from Moriah Monaco (14.1) and Destiny Washington (10.3). Bennett is also the team’s leading rebounder with 7.5 boards per game, and Carmen Grande deals out 8.3 assists per outing.
The Cardinals fell, 78-74, in their last matchup on Sunday against Lipscomb. The Bisons overcame 28 points from Bennett and connected on nine three-pointers to defeat Ball State on its home floor.
Following Wednesday’s bout, WKU will be off for just over a week before resuming play with the C-USA portion of its schedule. The Lady Toppers are set to host Florida Atlantic and FIU next Friday and Sunday in the opening weekend of conference play.
GAME #12 – WKU VS. BALL STATE
WKU (7-4, 0-0 C-USA) vs. Ball State (6-4, 0-0 MAC)
December 21, 2016 | 5:30 p.m. (CT)
Bowling Green, Ky. | E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326)
WKU Game Notes
– Redshirt senior Kendall Noble made her 100th start with the Lady Toppers against College of Charleston. Noble holds the school record with 297 steals and ranks in the top 15 in points (12th, 1,494), rebounds (11th, 732), assists (fourth, 479) and blocked shots (11th, 79).
– On Monday, freshman Whitney Creech became WKU’s first C-USA Freshman of the Week selection since Tashia Brown on March 2, 2015. Creech averaged 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and four assists in WKU’s two victories last week and is shooting an incredible 56.8 percent (25-of-44) from the floor this season.
– Ivy Brown sits atop C-USA and ranks 20th in the nation among all players by making 59.6 percent (56-of-94) 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 11 games, pulling down 103 boards (48 offensive, 55 defensive), and is WKU’s top three-point shooter at 43.2 percent (16-of-37).
– 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.
– As a team, WKU is shooting 172-of-220 (78.2 percent) from the free throw line this season, an improvement of nine percent from the 2015-16 season. Currently, WKU ranks 15th among all Division I teams in free-throw percentage this season.
– In non-conference play under Clark-Heard, WKU owns a 53-19 record (.736) dating back to the 2012-13 season and has dropped no more than four non-conference games in a single season over that same span.
– 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 1,042 points for her career in just 79 games. The Lake Park, Ga., native joined teammate Kendall Noble (1,494 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 156 three-pointers, Micah Jones needs just nine more to pass Renee Westmoreland (1990-93) for seventh place on the charts.
Listen: 102.7 FM, 1450AM in Bowling Green (Barry Williams, pxp; Laurie Idlett, analysis)
Watch: Fox College Sports, WKU PBS (Jeff Younglove, pxp; Paul Sanderford, analysis)
Live Stats: WKUSports.com
– Toys for Tots: Bring a new toy to the game for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and receive a complimentary ticket. Toys will be distributed to children in the Bowling Green area for the holiday season.
– Mr. B’s Pizza Deal: Purchase two tickets to the game for only $15 and receive a coupon for a free small pizza from Mr. B’s. Offer valid both online and at the Diddle Arena box office while supplies last.
– Concessions Special: All nachos on Wednesday evening will be available for $2.
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.