BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Following a long trip to Canada for three games at the 2018
Vancouver Showcase last week, WKU will return to the friendly confines of E.A.
Diddle Arena on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. as the Lady Toppers welcome Morgan State
for the first-ever meeting on the hardwood between the two teams.
In their tournament in Vancouver, WKU claimed sixth place in the loaded field,
earning a victory over ETSU while dropping decisions against No. 9/8 Oregon State
and Gonzaga. The Lady Toppers stayed strong with another top-10 foe, falling to the
Beavers by just 14 points.
Dee Givens continued her hot start to the season, adding three more double-digit
scoring efforts, including a career-best 25 points against ETSU. Raneem Elgedawy
also scored at least 13 points in each of WKU’s three Canada outings and is
averaging 15.9 points for the year.
Morgan State enters Wednesday’s battle with a 1-7 overall record, falling 60-36 to
Central Connecticut State in its last time out. The Lady Bears have struggled to
score the basketball, hitting 60 points just once in their first eight games. Morgan
State competed in the Puerto Rico Clasico for Thanksgiving, falling to a pair of
Power 5 foes in Georgia and Maryland.
WKU will make the trip to Little Rock to renew its old Sun Belt rivalry following
Wednesday’s clash, traveling to face the Trojans on the road at 5:30 p.m. on
GAME #9 – WKU VS. MORGAN STATE
WKU (2-6, 0-0 C-USA) vs. Morgan State (1-7, 0-0 MEAC)
November 28, 2018 | 6:00 p.m.
Bowling Green, Ky. | E.A. Diddle Arena (7,523)
– Raneem Elgedawy tallied WKU’s first double-double of the 2018-19 season with a
17-point, 11-rebound performance in WKU’s win over ETSU. Elgedawy, who had five
double-doubles as a freshman, also came away with a career-best five steals against
– WKU moved one step closer to the 1,000-win plateau with its victory over ETSU in
the Vancouver Showcase. The Lady Toppers now sit just 14 wins shy of becoming the
10th program in Division I history to reach that mark.
– Dee Givens tallied a career-best 25 points against ETSU on 7-of-16 shooting from
the field and has scored double digits in all eight games this season, the longest
consecutive double-digit scoring streak of her career.
– Under Greg Collins, WKU has featured a revamped, fast-paced offensive attack this
season and is averaging 75.0 points per game through eight 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
– After winning C-USA Sixth Player of the Year last season, Dee Givens has stepped
up in a big way for the Lady Toppers, moving into the starting lineup and averaging
19.0 points against WKU’s first eight opponents to begin the season. Through eight
games, Givens is averaging one point every 99 seconds that she is on the floor.
– WKU’s defense has pressured all eight of its opponents into double-digit turnovers
thus far on the season. Through eight games, the Lady Toppers have forced an average
of 17.3 turnovers per game to open the 2018-19 season.
– WKU continued its hot start from beyond the arc against Southern Illinois,
connecting on 10 of its 14 three-point attempts, including a 6-for-7 mark by Dee
Givens. The Lady Toppers’ .714 clip in that game was tied for the fifth-best in
program history, while Givens’ .857 tally was the fifth-best ever by a Lady Topper
individual, both in games with at least five three-pointers made.
– Through eight games, Raneem Elgedawy and Meral Abdelgawad have combined to score
191 of WKU’s 600 points, just under a third of the team’s total. In addition to
their scoring, the duo has combined for 82 rebounds, also just under a third of the
team’s total of 264.
– Through eight games this season, WKU has significantly raised its three-point
shooting percentage from last season, knocking down 58 of its 152 (36.7 percent)
attempts thus far. Last season, the Lady Toppers were 34.8 percent from beyond the
arc. The current 36.7 percent mark would rank seventh in program history for a
single season, the highest since a 36.8 percent mark in 2002-03.
– 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.
– Over its first four seasons as a member of Conference USA, WKU owns a 59-11 mark
against the rest of the league since joining and posted a 12-4 record last season.
– WKU put together an 11-1 record inside Diddle Arena last season and has posted a
75-14 record inside the friendly confines of its home arena since Greg Collins has
been with the program in 2012-13. The Lady Toppers earned their first home victory
of the Collins era on Tuesday, defeating Southern Illinois, 83-76, inside Diddle
– For the first time since the 2010-11 season, WKU welcomed two Power 5 programs to
E.A. Diddle Arena. That season, the Lady Toppers hosted Northwestern and Texas Tech,
and this year both Louisville and Iowa made the trip to Bowling Green.
– 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.
– Since becoming a member of C-USA prior to the 2014-15 campaign, WKU has posted a
33-2 record against conference foes inside Diddle Arena, never losing more than one
game in a single season. The Lady Toppers currently own a 19-game home winning
streak in conference play dating all the way back to a 62-51 win over Middle
Tennessee on Feb. 25, 2016.
– 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.
– With the release of the preseason AP poll on Oct. 31, WKU appears slated to play
at least three ranked opponents in its first six outings this season, with a fourth
(Central Michigan) receiving votes in the poll. Should WKU face three ranked
opponents, it would mark the second time in the last three seasons that the Lady
Toppers have done so. In 2016-17, WKU battled Indiana (#23), DePaul (#18) and
Louisville (#8) in the regular season before drawing Ohio State (#11) in the NCAA
– 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.
Listen: 102.7FM, 1450AM in Bowling Green (Brett Williams, pxp; John Butler, analysis)