BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU’s quest for a second consecutive outright C-USA regular
season championship will kick off on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. as the Lady Toppers
take on Southern Miss in a road bout inside Reed Green Coliseum in a rematch of the
2017 C-USA Tournament title game.
Most recently, WKU rode a career-best 38 points from Tashia Brown past Charlotte on
Senior Night inside E.A. Diddle Arena last Friday night. Brown nearly outscored the
49ers by herself, 26-24, in the first half and finished with the fifth-most points
in a single game in program history while moving into the fourth spot on WKU’s
scoring list with 1,961 points.
In the first battle between WKU and Southern Miss this season on Jan. 6, WKU
outscored the Golden Eagles by a combined 43-17 margin in the second and fourth
quarters to cruise to an 81-60 victory. Ivy Brown had a game-high 23 points in that
contest, Tashia Brown added 22 and Dee Givens chipped in 12 points to help WKU
secure the win.
Jayla King (15.5), Megan Brown (12.8) and Shonte Hailes (12.2) lead the Golden
Eagles in scoring this season. King is also the team’s leading rebounder at a 7.5
per game clip, and Hailes has dished out a team-best 116 assists with only 50
turnovers in 2017-18.
The Lady Toppers will end the regular season at UTEP on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
before heading to Frisco, Texas, for next week’s C-USA Tournament.
GAME #28 / C-USA GAME #15 – WKU AT SOUTHERN MISS
WKU (21-6, 12-2 C-USA) at Southern Miss (14-13, 6-8 C-USA)
March 1, 2018 | 6:00 p.m. (CT)
Hattiesburg, Miss. | Reed Green Coliseum (8,095)
– As of Feb. 28, WKU is ranked No. 41 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings and has faced
four teams in the top 40 in Notre Dame, Missouri, Iowa and Ball State. WKU is one of
only two C-USA representatives in the top 100 of the rankings, with UAB second at
– WKU has already clinched a first-round bye in next week’s C-USA Tournament, with
the Lady Toppers unable to finish with anything less than the No. 2 seed. Should WKU
win its final two regular season games, or if UAB loses once and WKU splits its two
games, the Lady Toppers would capture the outright C-USA regular season championship
for the second straight season.
– Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard earned her 150th win with the Lady Toppers against
Marshall on Feb. 17, accomplishing the feat in just 195 total games with the
program. Clark-Heard became the second-fastest Lady Topper coach to reach the mark,
doing so just one game behind Paul Sanderford’s mark of 194 contests. Of
Clark-Heard’s 151 wins, 44 have come by 20 or more points and 16 have been by 30 or
– WKU and Southern Miss will be meeting for the seventh time since both have been
members of C-USA. The Lady Toppers own a 5-1 record over that span, including wins
in both the 2015 and 2017 C-USA Tournament championship games.
– WKU holds a 3-0 record so far this season against teams that it faced in last
year’s C-USA Tournament, defeating Southern Miss, North Texas and Louisiana Tech.
– Tashia Brown tallied a career-best 38 points against Charlotte on Senior Night on
Feb. 23, knocking down 14 of her 29 shots from the field. Brown’s 14 field goals
were tied for the sixth-most in a single game in school history, and her 29 attempts
were tied for the second-most and were the most in a game for WKU since March 19,
– With its win over Marshall on Feb. 17, WKU has now won 20 or more games in all six
seasons under Michelle Clark-Heard dating back to 2012-13. Only nine other non-Power
5 schools have accomplished that feat over the last six years.
– WKU has flashed its defensive prowess consistently this season, holding opponents
to single-digit points in a quarter 14 times. For the season, opponents have failed
to reach double digits in 13.5 percent of quarters played against the Lady Toppers.
– When holding opponents under 70 points this season, WKU owns a perfect 20-0 record
and is 125-13 (.906) in that category dating back to the 2012-13 season. The Lady
Toppers have held 12 of their 14 C-USA opponents to fewer than 70 points.
– Ivy and Tashia Brown have combined to win 105 games during their four seasons on
The Hill and are seeking to becoming the winningest senior class in WKU history.
Traci Patton (1985-88) currently owns the record with 110 victories.
– Over its last seven games dating back to Jan. 28 at Louisiana Tech, WKU’s bench
has averaged 17.7 points per game, including a season-best 29 points at Middle
Tennessee on Feb. 15. In C-USA play, WKU’s bench has scored 20 or more points in
five of the Lady Toppers’ 14 outings.
– WKU has knocked down 153 of its 437 three-pointers this season (35.0 percent), a
mark that currently ranks ninth on the program’s single-season charts and the best
percentage for a single season since 2002-03. Both Ivy Brown (.421, 51-of-121) and
Sidnee Bopp (.419, 31-of-74) have knocked down more than 40 percent of their triples
– Since C-USA play began, Dee Givens has crafted a strong case for C-USA Sixth
Player of the Year, reaching double figures in all but five of WKU’s 14 conference
games. The redshirt sophomore is averaging 11.1 points per game in C-USA play, up a
tick from her 9.2 per game across all games this season. Givens also picked up her
first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds against FIU on Jan. 11 and
had one of the best all-around performances of her career at Middle Tennessee on
Feb. 15 with 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
– Ivy Brown enters Thursday’s game as the only Division I player in the nation
averaging 15 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. Brown also has 14
points-rebounds double-doubles this season, tied for 24th in the country.
– WKU owns an impressive record under Clark-Heard when breaking the 80-point
barrier. The Lady Toppers have posted a near-perfect 56-3 mark when scoring 80 or
more since the 2012-13 season; this season, WKU has scored 80 or more points 10
– 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. 23
against Charlotte, scoring a career-best 38 points to move into fourth place on the
list with 1,961 career points, passing former teammate Chastity Gooch. Brown has
also moved into 10th place in all-time scoring in C-USA history, and fellow senior
Ivy Brown ranks 15th in conference history with 932 career rebounds. Tashia Brown is
on pace to be just the fourth Lady Topper with 2,000 career points.
– 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 (23.3) 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
– Tashia Brown leads C-USA and is sixth among all players in the nation with 23.3
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
(fifth, 739) and free throws made (seventh, 429). Brown also now holds the school
record for field goals attempted for her career with 1,738. Brown has also moved
into the top 10 in attempted free throws (seventh, 586).
– Through 27 games, Ivy Brown has broken into the top 10 in rebounding in school
history, ranking seventh all-time with 932 boards. The Hodgenville, Ky., native is
also fifth in school history with 141 blocks and her 80.3 percent mark from the free
throw line for her career is sixth among all Lady Toppers who have made at least 200
free throws. Brown’s 932 career rebounds also rank 15th in C-USA history.
– Through 27 games, WKU leads all C-USA teams and ranks seventh nationally for the
fewest turnovers per game, giving up the ball only 11.6 times per contest. The Lady
Toppers have had single-digit turnovers in 11 games this season and lead the league
in turnover margin at +6.7 per game.
– WKU is currently shooting 425-of-548 (.776) 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’ 425 made free throws lead all C-USA squads
so far this season, and their 77.6 percent success rate tops the league and ranks
seventh in the nation.
– WKU has been very strong at collecting its own misses this season. The Lady
Toppers have pulled down a league-leading 16.7 offensive boards per game, and Ivy
Brown leads all C-USA players with 4.2 offensive rebounds per game. WKU’s 16.7
offensive boards also ranks seventh in the nation among Division I teams.
– 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 (27) and Sherry Porter (10) have been consistent starters for the
Lady Toppers this season.
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