BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU will hit the road for its third of four straight road games
on Saturday afternoon at Noon (CT), heading to the Cam Henderson Center to battle
Marshall in a key C-USA clash. With a victory, the Lady Toppers would claim the
tiebreaker over the Thundering Herd and would move back into a top-four position in
the C-USA standings, enough for a first-round bye.
The Lady Toppers twice nearly erased double-digit deficits at UAB last Saturday
before ultimately falling against the Blazers, 70-63, in their fourth straight
setback. Alexis Brewer, in just her second game back from injury, had another strong
game, falling just a point shy of her season-best with 21 points.
WKU holds a strong advantage in the all-time series against Marshall, with 11 wins
to just one loss. The Lady Toppers own a perfect 4-0 record against the Thundering
Herd on the road, with all four victories coming in the last four seasons by an
average of 13 points.
Likely All-C-USA pick Shayna Gore leads Marshall with 19.5 points per game and is
joined in double figures by Taylor Porter (12.1). Khadaijia Brooks is the team’s
leading rebounder at a 6.2 per game clip, and both Gore (87) and Kristen Mayo (82)
are atop the Thundering Herd’s leaderboard for total assists this season.
WKU will finally wrap up its long road swing next Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. as
the Lady Toppers head west to square off against North Texas inside The Super Pit.
GAME #28 / C-USA GAME #14 – WKU AT MARSHALL
WKU (14-13, 8-5 C-USA) at Marshall (15-11, 9-4 C-USA)
February 23, 2019 | 12:00 p.m. (CT)
Huntington, W. Va. | Cam Henderson Center (9,043)
– WKU moved one step closer to the 1,000-win plateau with its victory at UTEP on
Feb. 2. The Lady Toppers now sit just two wins shy of becoming the 10th program in
Division I history to reach that mark and could reach the 1,000-win mark as early as
next Saturday afternoon at North Texas.
– Last Monday evening, the NCAA revealed its first look at the top 16 seeds for the
upcoming NCAA Tournament, and the Lady Toppers have faced five of the 16 teams on
the list. This season, WKU has squared off against top seed Louisville, No. 2 seed
Notre Dame, No. 3 seeds Iowa and Oregon State and No. 4 seed Gonzaga.
– WKU will be seeking its sixth straight win in the series against Marshall on
Saturday afternoon, with its lone blemish in series history coming in the 2016 C-USA
Quarterfinals. In its last five games against the Thundering Herd, WKU has won by an
average of 21.4 points.
– WKU is in the midst of a four-game road trip in conference play, its longest since
becoming a member of C-USA prior to the 2014-15 season. The four-game swing is WKU’s
longest in true road games in conference play since also playing four straight at
Denver, Arkansas State, Little Rock and Middle Tennessee as a member of the Sun Belt
– Dee Givens enters Saturday’s contest needing just eight points to become the 40th
member of WKU’s 1,000-point club. Givens is averaging 17.7 points per game this
season and has had 20 or more points on 12 occasions in 2018-19.
– With its 12-point comeback victory at UTEP on Feb. 2, WKU recorded its 19th
double-digit comeback since 2012-13 when Greg Collins joined the staff. Of those 19
comebacks, 12 have come either on the road or in neutral-site games, and 12 have
also come against conference opponents. The comeback at UTEP was WKU’s first win
when trailing by double digits since overcoming a 13-point deficit against Charlotte
on Feb. 23, 2017.
– Among the 23 first-time Division I head coaches this season, Greg Collins is
currently second with his 14 victories, trailing only Minnesota’s Lindsay Whalen
with 19 wins. More impressively, no other team under a first-time head coach is
averaging more points per game than the Lady Toppers, who are scoring at a 74.2 per
– WKU has enjoyed one of its best shooting seasons in recent memory and has hit the
50 percent mark from the floor in 12 games already this season. The Lady Toppers
shot 50 percent or better in six straight games from Dec. 29 through Jan. 19, its
longest such streak since at least the 1987-88 campaign. Since Greg Collins has been
on The Hill in 2012-13, WKU is 35-4 when shooting 50 percent or better.
– At UTEP on Feb. 2, Raneem Elgedawy (27) and Dee Givens (26) paired to score 53 of
WKU’s 64 points against the Miners. That marked the second time this season that the
duo has combined to score 50 or more points after the two previously scored 59
combined points at FIU on Jan. 17.
– Through 27 games, the single-season three-point makes record in school history is
potentially in sight for the Lady Toppers. WKU has knocked down 176 triples this
season and is chasing the record of 242 set in 2016-17. WKU’s 176 makes already rank
seventh in program history for a single season and would jump to sixth with two more
– WKU has captured 30 road victories in C-USA play since joining the conference in
2014-15 and has unquestionably been one of the toughest teams to face both at home
and away. WKU’s 30 road wins are more than all but one C-USA school (Middle
Tennessee) have won on their own home courts against other C-USA opponents over the
last five years.
– Over its first five seasons as a member of Conference USA, WKU owns a 67-16 mark
against the rest of the league since joining and posted a 12-4 record last season.
– This season, WKU’s defense has limited its opponents to fewer than 70 points on 13
occasions, coming away with a win in all but two of those games. Over the last three
seasons dating back to 2016-17, the Lady Toppers have posted a 54-5 record when
holding their opponents under 70 points, including a perfect 33-0 mark when limiting
them to fewer than 60 points.
– Dee Givens has 79 total steals, an average of 2.9 per game, this season, a number
that ranks 12th among all qualifying Division I players. Givens’ 79 steals is also
the top mark among all C-USA players. Givens enjoyed a breakout defensive game with
eight steals against Marshall, tied for the most by a C-USA player this season and
the most by a Lady Topper since Kendall Noble’s school-record 10 at North Texas on
Feb. 5, 2015.
– Despite having her streak of 38 consecutive made free throws snapped against Ball
State, Dee Givens has enjoyed a strong season from the charity stripe. Givens’ .875
(112-of-128) percentage ranks fifth in the nation among all Division I players who
have attempted at least 100 free throws this season.
– Under Greg Collins, WKU has featured a revamped, fast-paced offensive attack this
season and is averaging 74.2 points per game through 26 contests. Should WKU average
at least 75 points per game this season, the Lady Toppers will have hit that mark in
four of the five most recent seasons after previously not doing so since 2004-05.
– WKU has been efficient at forcing turnovers this season, forcing its opponents
into an average of 17.7 giveaways per game. The Lady Toppers have forced
double-digit turnovers in 79 straight games dating back to a Jan. 7, 2017, contest
at Old Dominion.
– Through 27 games, Raneem Elgedawy and Meral Abdelgawad have combined to score 688
of WKU’s 2,004 points, just over a third of the team’s total. In addition to their
scoring, the duo has combined for 273 rebounds, also just under a third of the
team’s total of 840.
– Despite its rally falling just short at Oklahoma on Nov. 10, WKU scored its most
points in a single quarter since moving to the system in 2015-16, netting 35 points
in the fourth frame against the Sooners. The 35 points were WKU’s most since setting
the previous record of 33 points in the fourth quarter against Dayton in the WNIT on
March 17, 2016.
– The Lady Toppers were picked fourth in the preseason C-USA coaches’ poll, but have
met or exceeded their expectations in each of the last two years. In 2016-17, WKU
won the tournament title after being picked first, and repeated as champions in
2017-18 after a second-place pick.
– WKU put together an 11-1 record inside Diddle Arena last season and has posted an
82-18 record inside the friendly confines of its home arena since Greg Collins has
been with the program in 2012-13. The Lady Toppers will have one more home game this
season when they host Middle Tennessee on March 7.
– WKU enters the 2018-19 season having had only five international letterwinners in
program history, including sophomore Raneem Elgedawy. This year, the Lady Toppers
will sport three international student-athletes on the roster, with Arame Niang and
Meral Abdelgawad joining Elgedawy on The Hill.
– In its four seasons as a C-USA member, WKU has claimed a pair of regular season
titles and has won the conference tournament three times, including back-to-back
wins in both 2017 and 2018. WKU is only the second school in C-USA history to claim
back-to-back tournament titles as a league member, joining former member Tulane, who
won three straight from 1999-2001.
– In each of Greg Collins’ six previous years on WKU’s bench, the Lady Toppers have
had 20 or more victories, with the team looking to extend that streak in 2018-19.
WKU’s current streak of six 20-win seasons is its second-longest in program history,
trailing only seven straight from 1982-83 to 1988-89 during the Paul Sanderford era.
In WKU’s modern era (since 1973-74), five of the 10 head coaches have captured
20-win seasons in their debut years on The Hill, most recently with Michelle
Clark-Heard’s 22 wins in 2012-13.
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