BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU held Lipscomb to just two first-half points, setting a new NCAA record in the process, and finished with six players in double figures in Thursday’s 87-35 victory over the Bisons inside E.A. Diddle Arena to open its five-game homestand.
The Lady Toppers led 56-2 at the halftime break, surpassing the previous NCAA record of three points allowed in a half held by Florida State (against Savannah State on Nov. 23, 2003), Georgia Tech (against Tennessee State on Dec. 30, 2010) and Alabama (against Lipscomb on Nov. 17, 2016). WKU held Lipscomb to 3.3 percent shooting (1-of-30) in the opening half.
Kendall Noble led all scorers with 15 points and was joined by five others in double figures: Dee Givens (13), Ivy Brown (12), Whitney Creech (12), Tashia Brown (12), Kayla Smith (11). Creech approached triple-double territory in just her ninth career game with the Lady Toppers, pulling down nine rebounds and dishing out seven assists.
As a team, WKU was 35-of-68 (51.5 percent) from the floor for the game and held Lipscomb to just 12-of-57 (21.1 percent) shooting on the evening. Despite not hitting a three-pointer in the second half, WKU finished 7-of-22 (31.8 percent) from long range.
Alex Banks led Lipscomb with nine points on the evening, Meredith Lovelady had a team-best five rebounds and Loren Cagle had three assists for the Bisons.
WKU came out of the gates hot, scoring the first 27 points of the night to build a big lead during the first quarter. Six different Lady Toppers scored during the stretch, and Sidnee Bopp capped the early run with a three-pointer to put the Lady Toppers up, 27-0, with 1:20 remaining in the first frame.
Lipscomb’s Banks ended the WKU run with a layup at the 1:02 mark in the first quarter, but the Lady Toppers responded with another big run, shutting the Bisons out for the remainder of the half while tallying 29 unanswered points. At the halftime break, WKU held a 56-2 lead while outshooting the Bisons by nearly 65 percent from the floor.
WKU’s lead grew to as many as 63 points midway through the third quarter following a pair of free throws from Tashia Brown at the 6:09 mark. Lipscomb whittled the deficit to as few as 55, 70-15, after eight unanswered points and trailed 75-15 heading into the final quarter.
In the final quarter, the Bisons outscored the Lady Toppers, 20-12, and managed to cut the WKU lead to 49 points, 78-29, following Lovelady’s three-pointer with 5:49 to play. WKU rebuilt a 56-point advantage from that point and maintained its large edge in the 87-35 final tally.
WKU will continue its five-game homestand on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. as the Lady Toppers welcome College of Charleston inside Diddle Arena. The two sides have met just once in program history, a 78-44 WKU victory in Charleston, S.C., on Dec. 18, 2015, last season. In that matchup, Noble registered 19 points, nine assists and eight rebounds and the Lady Toppers outscored the Cougars 48-26 in the second half to pull away for the win.
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