RICHMOND, Ky. – Redshirt senior Kendall Noble became WKU’s all-time leader in steals and scored a team-high 18 points on Wednesday evening as WKU picked up a 90-63 victory over Eastern Kentucky inside McBrayer Arena in its first true road game of the season.
With her first steal of the night, Noble made WKU history as she passed the legendary Clemette Haskins atop the Lady Toppers’ all-time steals list. After registering two takeaways on Wednesday, Noble now has 287 for her career early in her final season.
Noble led the Lady Toppers in scoring with 18 points on the evening and also stuffed the stat sheet with eight rebounds and five assists. She was joined in double figures by Ivy Brown (14), Tashia Brown (12) and Jaycee Coe (11), the last of whom knocked down three of her four three-pointers on the night.
As a team, WKU shot 54 percent (34-of-63) from the field, nearly 20 percent better than Eastern Kentucky’s 34.8 percent (23-of-66). All but one Lady Topper who saw game action also scored in the balanced effort.
Eastern Kentucky’s Shavontae Naylor led all scorers with 20 points, Alexus Cooper had 18 and Jalen O’Bannon rounded out the Colonel trio in double figures with 10 points. O’Bannon was also the team’s leading rebounder with seven boards.
Neither side could gain more than a three-point advantage over the first eight minutes of the game that featured six ties. The Lady Toppers finally broke through to gain some breathing room with 10 unanswered points over a five-minute span across the first and second quarters. Four different WKU players scored during the run that was keyed by four points from Noble, and Ima Akpan’s pair of free throws with 7:42 to play in the second quarter gave the Lady Toppers a 28-16 lead.
Eastern Kentucky battled back to cut WKU’s lead to as few as seven, 36-29, but the Lady Toppers fended off the offensive burst by the Colonels and rebuilt their double-digit advantage to carry a 41-29 lead into the halftime break.
Leading 46-32 early in the third quarter, the Lady Toppers broke open the game even further with nine more unanswered points. Ivy Brown and Noble each poured in four points during the stretch that left WKU with a 55-32 advantage at the 4:26 mark in the third quarter.
The Colonels were unable to cut the WKU lead to any fewer than 27 points in the final quarter as WKU claimed the 90-63 victory for its first true road win of the season.
WKU will make the short trip south into Tennessee on Saturday for a Noon (CT) tipoff against Austin Peay inside the Winfield Dunn Center, WKU’s fifth straight game away from E.A. Diddle Arena. The Lady Toppers own a seven-game winning streak against the Lady Govs dating back to a 96-54 win on Dec. 8, 1988, and lead the overall series between the two teams 17-7. In the most recent meeting, WKU picked up an 88-69 win inside Diddle Arena on Dec. 5, 2015, last season.
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