BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Ivy Brown scored a game-high 25 points and was one of three Lady
Toppers in double figures, but WKU dropped its first C-USA matchup of the 2017-18
season in a 79-61 decision at UAB on Saturday evening inside Bartow Arena.
Ivy Brown fell just shy of a double-double with 25 points and nine rebounds for WKU
(12-5, 3-1 C-USA) while also adding a career-best six blocks. Dee Givens totaled 14
points on 4-of-7 shooting, including 2-of-3 on three-pointers, and Tashia Brown
notched 13 points with five rebounds and four assists on the evening.
For UAB (14-2, 3-0 C-USA), Miyah Barnes and Rachael Childress led the way with 18
points apiece, and Deanna Kuzmanic joined them in double figures with 15 points.
Barnes dished out a game-high six assists, and the Blazers, who entered the contest
leading Division I in three-point field goal percentage, knocked down nine of their
20 shots (45.0 percent) from beyond the arc.
After WKU jumped out to an early 4-2 lead, UAB responded with five straight points
over the next two minutes to grab the lead. Childress sparked the stretch for the
Blazers with a three-pointer, and Kara Rawls’ layup at the 6:09 mark gave UAB an
early 7-4 edge.
Givens’ first three-pointer of the night with 4:44 to play in the opening quarter
again pushed the Lady Toppers out in front with a 9-7 advantage, but seven straight
points from UAB left WKU facing another deficit. Trista Magee started the burst with
a triple, and Kuzmanic’s free throws capped the stretch for a 14-9 UAB lead.
The Blazers’ lead grew to as many as seven points before the end of the frame, but
WKU fought back early in the second quarter, outscoring UAB 8-4 over the first two
minutes to knot the game at 24-24. Six points during the run from Ivy Brown and
another three-pointer from Givens pulled the Lady Toppers even for the first time
since midway through the first frame.
Neither team could gain more than a one-possession edge until a deep three-pointer
from Terri Smith with just under a minute remaining gave WKU a 41-37 lead. UAB’s
Childress knocked down a layup at the buzzer, but WKU carried a 41-39 lead into the
Both sides exchanged the lead coming out of the locker room, eventually tying up at
46-46 after UAB’s Barnes hit a layup with 7:32 on the clock. That layup began a 7-0
run for the Blazers, who jumped out in front, 51-46, on another Barnes layup midway
through the quarter.
WKU trimmed the deficit back to just two points, 56-54, after four straight points
from Ivy Brown with less than a minute to play in the frame, but UAB was able to
maintain a 57-54 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
After Childress connected from deep to begin the final frame, WKU was unable to
close the gap back to a one-possession game the rest of the way. The Lady Toppers
battled hard down the stretch but were not able to battle back for the victory.
WKU will return home to the friendly confines of E.A. Diddle Arena on Thursday
morning at 11 a.m. for the Lady Toppers’ annual Spread the Red Education Day game
against UTSA. The Lady Toppers have posted a perfect 6-0 record in Education Day
tilts since beginning the tradition during the 2010-11 campaign and have defeated a
C-USA foe in each of the six outings, including a 60-48 win over UAB last season.
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