BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU will look to bounce back from last Saturday’s 80-77 setback at UTSA as the Lady Toppers host Louisiana Tech inside E.A. Diddle Arena at 7 p.m. (CT) on Thursday evening in the 43rd all-time meeting between the two sides.
Louisiana Tech leads the all-time series 26-16, but WKU holds a 12-9 edge in Bowling Green and has won both meetings since joining C-USA. Last season, WKU defeated the Lady Techsters, 69-58, in Ruston to close the regular season.
WKU led by as many as 12 points but could not overcome a late charge by the Roadrunners at UTSA last Saturday. C-USA Player of the Year candidate Kendall Noble scored a program-record 16 of her 25 points in the third quarter to lead the Lady Toppers, and Kayla Smith poured in 17 points off the bench on 6-of-7 shooting.
Entering Thursday’s tilt, Kierra Anthony (12.9), Jasmine LeBlanc (12.5) and Alexus Malone (10.3) lead the Lady Techsters in scoring. LeBlanc pulls down 9.2 rebounds per contest, while Kierra Lang has dished out a team-best 63 assists on the season. Louisiana Tech dropped a 79-65 decision to Middle Tennessee in its last time out on Saturday.
WKU will remain at home for Saturday afternoon’s game against Southern Miss. The Lady Toppers and Golden Eagles are set to tip at 2 p.m. (CT) inside Diddle Arena.
GAME #22 – WKU VS. LOUISIANA TECH
WKU (15-6, 7-2 C-USA) vs. Louisiana Tech (10-10, 5-4 C-USA)
February 2, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. (CT)
Bowling Green, Ky. | E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326)
WKU Game Notes
– In games immediately following a loss since Michelle Clark-Heard took over in 2012-13, the Lady Toppers are 31-6 (.838) and have not suffered consecutive losses since Nov. 23 and 25, 2014 (at Mississippi State and Louisville).
– Defending C-USA Player of the Year Kendall Noble is currently the only Division I player in the nation averaging at least 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game for the season.
– Noble also reached the top 10 on WKU’s all-time scoring charts after her 25-point outburst at UTSA last Saturday, giving her 1,657 career points. The redshirt senior is the only player in program history to log 1,500 points, 750 rebounds and 500 assists.
– For the 2016-17 season, Noble has either scored or assisted on 35.8 percent of WKU’s points, a number that increases even further to 43.5 percent when only C-USA games are considered.
– WKU owns C-USA’s top-scoring offense through 21 games, averaging 75.8 points per outing. The Lady Toppers have scored 80 or more points eight times this season and have reached 90 points three times.
– Now seventh in school history with 167 three-pointers, Micah Jones needs just two more to pass Natalie Powers (1998-2002) for sixth place on the charts. Jones also sits at 959 career points and is seeking to become the 38th member of WKU’s 1,000-point club.
– Under Michelle Clark-Heard, WKU has trailed by double digits in 40 games and has rallied to win 17 times (42.5 percent of the time) when facing a double-digit deficit. Six of those victories have come in the last two seasons alone, including wins this season after trailing by 14 (Kent State) and 13 (UAB).
– Micah Jones leads all C-USA players and ranks 10th among all Division I players with a 3.04 assist-to-turnover ratio this season. Jones has dished out 84 assists to just 29 turnovers and now ranks ninth on WKU’s career charts in the category with 389 assists.
– As a team, WKU is currently eighth in the nation with just 12.2 turnovers per game, a number that also leads C-USA for fewest among the league’s teams.
– WKU is shooting 292-of-378 (77.4 percent) from the free throw line this season, an improvement of nine percent from the 2015-16 season. Currently, WKU ranks 18th among all Division I teams in free-throw percentage this season.
– Through 21 games, the Lady Toppers have knocked down the third-most three-pointers in C-USA with 141. WKU has connected on seven or more three-pointers in 12 different games this season and holds a strong 9-3 record when hitting that mark.
– Redshirt senior Kendall Noble has been named one of 30 candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award, joining Alexis Govan as Lady Toppers who have received the honor under Michelle Clark-Heard.
– 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.
Listen: 102.7 FM, 1450AM in Bowling Green (Barry Williams, pxp; Laurie Idlett, analysis)
Watch: WKUSports.tv (Online Stream)
Live Stats: WKUSports.com
– FREE PARKING FOR ALL FANS
– Phone Wallet Giveaway: The first 500 fans in attendance for Thursday night’s game will receive a free WKU silicone phone wallet.
– Mr. B’s Pizza Deal: Purchase two tickets for only $15 and receive a coupon for a free small pizza from Mr. B’s. Offer valid online and at the Diddle Arena Box Office while supplies last.
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.