BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – For the 72nd time in program history, longtime rivals WKU and
Middle Tennessee are set to clash in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Thursday evening at
6:30 p.m. for the second time this season. In the first meeting, WKU earned a 57-43
victory inside E.A. Diddle Arena on Jan. 4 to open C-USA play for both sides.
In WKU’s most recent outing, the Lady Toppers dropped a 73-58 decision at Rice last
Saturday afternoon. That setback snapped WKU’s six-game winning streak despite a
game-high 23 points from Tashia Brown and a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double from
Ivy Brown. On Thursday, WKU will be seeking its fifth straight win in the series
over the Blue Raiders.
Tashia Brown leads all C-USA players with 23.2 points per game and fellow preseason
All-C-USA pick Ivy Brown is averaging a double-double at 15.8 points and 10.1
rebounds per game. The pair have combined to score just over 50 percent of WKU’s
points this season with 937 total points between the duo.
Abbey Sissom leads Middle Tennessee with 12.2 points per game and 71 total assists,
and Preseason C-USA Player of the Year Alex Johnson, who missed the first bout
against WKU this season, has returned and is averaging 11.1 points and 3.5 rebounds
Following Thursday’s game, WKU will be back in Diddle Arena against Marshall on
Saturday at 2 p.m. for its annual Play4Kay Pink Game, with all fans encouraged to
GAME #25 / C-USA GAME #12 – WKU AT MIDDLE TENNESSEE
WKU (18-6, 9-2 C-USA) at Middle Tennessee (15-9, 7-4 C-USA)
February 15, 2018 | 6:30 p.m. (CT)
Murfreesboro, Tenn. | Murphy Center (11,520)
– As of Feb. 14, WKU is ranked No. 48 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings and has faced
four teams in the top 45 in Notre Dame, Missouri, Iowa and Ball State. WKU is one of
only three C-USA representatives in the top 100 of the rankings, with UAB second at
No. 80 and Rice third at No. 95.
– WKU will be looking for its fifth straight win over Middle Tennessee on Thursday
evening, a feat that the Lady Toppers have not accomplished in the storied rivalry
since winning nine straight between Dec. 30, 1983, and Nov. 29, 1998, over the Blue
– Middle Tennessee leads the all-time series between the two sides, 41-30, but WKU
has claimed five of the last six matchups against the Blue Raiders.
– Ivy Brown enters Saturday’s game as the only Division I player in the nation
averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. Brown also has 12
points-rebounds double-doubles this season, tied for 23rd in the country.
– Each of WKU’s last four victories over Middle Tennessee have come by double
digits, including a 57-43 win in the first meeting this season on Jan. 4 inside
– In games immediately following a loss since Michelle Clark-Heard took over in
2012-13, the Lady Toppers are 35-8; WKU suffered its first consecutive losses in the
same season in nearly three years against Iowa and Notre Dame.
– WKU owns an impressive record under Clark-Heard when breaking the 80-point
barrier. The Lady Toppers have posted a near-perfect 55-3 mark when scoring 80 or
more since the 2012-13 season; this season, WKU has scored 80 or more points nine
– WKU’s 23-0 run against Florida Atlantic on Feb. 3 was the team’s longest
unanswered run since a pair of runs (27-0 and 37-0) against Lipscomb on Dec. 15,
2016, a game that saw WKU set the NCAA record for fewest points allowed in a half by
holding Lipscomb to two first-half points. WKU outscored Florida Atlantic 32-12 in
the second quarter, its second-most points in a single frame since moving to the
system in 2015-16.
– Tashia Brown continued her attack on WKU’s all-time scoring list on Feb. 10 at
Rice, scoring 23 points to move into a tie with former teammate Kendall Noble for
fifth place on WKU’s career scoring list with 1,888 points. Brown is on pace to be
just the fourth Lady Topper to score 2,000 career points, joining Crystal Kelly,
Lillie Mason and Tiffany Porter-Talbert. Brown has also climbed into the top 10 in
C-USA history in scoring.
– On Jan. 31, Tashia Brown was named one of the 10 finalists for the Cheryl Miller
Award presented to the best small forward in the nation, becoming the first player
in C-USA history to earn the honor. Of the 10 finalists, Brown owns the most points
per game this season (23.1) and defeated fellow finalist Sophie Cunningham of
Missouri in a head-to-head matchup while scoring 30 points in that outing. Brown has
averaged 21.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists against Power 5 opponents this
– When holding opponents under 70 points this season, WKU owns a perfect 17-0 record
and is 122-13 (.904) in that category dating back to the 2012-13 season. The Lady
Toppers have held nine of their 10 C-USA opponents to fewer than 70 points.
– With her 10th double-double of the season at Marshall on Jan. 21, Ivy Brown joined
an elite group of just six Lady Toppers with multiple seasons of double-digit
double-doubles. Brown notched 10 double-doubles as a sophomore in 2015-16 and has
already surpassed that mark thus far as a senior.
– Tashia Brown leads C-USA and is sixth among all players in the nation with 23.2
points per game in 2017-18. Brown has not scored fewer than 13 points in any single
game this season and has moved into the top 10 in school history in field goals made
(seventh, 714) and free throws made (seventh, 407). Brown also now holds the school
record for field goals attempted for her career with 1,683. Brown has also moved
into the top 10 in attempted free throws (seventh, 559).
– WKU has flashed its defensive prowess consistently this season, holding opponents
to single-digit points in a quarter 12 times. For the season, opponents have failed
to reach double digits in 13.6 percent of quarters played against the Lady Toppers.
– Through 24 games, Ivy Brown has broken into the top 10 in rebounding in school
history, ranking seventh all-time with 906 boards. The Hodgenville, Ky., native is
also fifth in school history with 140 blocks and her 80.0 percent mark from the free
throw line for her career is sixth among all Lady Toppers who have made at least 200
– Through 24 games, WKU leads all C-USA teams and ranks fifth nationally for the
fewest turnovers per game, giving up the ball only 11.3 times per contest. The Lady
Toppers have had single-digit turnovers in 11 games this season and lead the league
in turnover margin at +7.0 per game.
– WKU is currently shooting 368-of-479 (.768) from the free throw line this season,
with only five players shooting below 80 percent among those who have attempted at
least five free throws. The Lady Toppers’ 368 made free throws lead all C-USA squads
so far this season, and their 76.8 percent success rate tops the league and ranks
13th in the nation.
– WKU has been very strong at collecting its own misses this season. The Lady
Toppers have pulled down a league-leading 16.8 offensive boards per game, and Ivy
Brown leads all C-USA players with 4.4 offensive rebounds per game. WKU’s 16.8
offensive boards also ranks 11th in the nation among Division I teams.
– Raneem Elgedawy’s dominant 23-rebound performance against FIU set several records.
Her 23 rebounds were tied for the most ever by an individual in a C-USA game, tied
for third-most in school history and by any individual C-USA player in a single game
and are the most in a single game by any underclassman in the nation this season.
– Against FIU on Jan. 11, WKU pulled down a season-best 61 rebounds, including 27 on
the offensive glass. Those 61 total rebounds were tied for the eighth-most ever in a
C-USA contest, as were WKU’s 27 offensive boards. As a team this season, WKU is
averaging 38.7 rebounds per game, currently its best mark in a single season since
totaling 41.4 per game in 2011-12.
– In WKU’s 101-47 victory over FIU, the Lady Toppers set a new C-USA record for the
largest margin of victory ever in a C-USA contest. The 54-point win topped the
previous record of 53 that occurred on three separate occasions, most recently in an
84-31 win for Rice over UTEP on Feb. 1, 2007. WKU’s 54-point win was its largest
against a conference foe since downing South Alabama by 58 points, 100-42, as a
member of the Sun Belt on Feb. 26, 1998.
– WKU has started a true freshman at least five times in each of the last four
seasons. Tashia Brown earned five starts in 2014-15, Kayla Smith drew 31 starts in
2015-16, Sarah Price appeared in the starting lineup five times in 2016-17 and
Raneem Elgedawy (24) and Sherry Porter (10) have been consistent starters for the
Lady Toppers this season.
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