BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU will attempt to become just the second school in C-USA
history to win three C-USA Tournament titles in a four-year span inside The Ford
Center at The Star this week, kicking off action in the quarterfinals against the
Florida Atlantic-UTSA winner on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
The Lady Toppers can join Tulane (four titles in five years from 1997-2001) as the
only programs to win three tournament titles in four seasons with three wins this
week. WKU will also be aiming for its 13th conference tournament title since the
1985-86 season, winning a postseason tournament on average once every three seasons
over that span.
As the No. 2 seed, WKU earned a first-round bye with its 12-4 regular season record
and will open play on Thursday afternoon. The Lady Toppers defeated both UTSA (73-38
on Jan. 18) and Florida Atlantic (82-63 on Feb. 3) inside E.A. Diddle Arena during
the regular season and would meet either Louisiana Tech, Charlotte or North Texas in
WKU’s powerful attack is led by four of the league’s individual award winners: C-USA
Player of the Year Tashia Brown, Defensive Player of the Year Ivy Brown, Freshman of
the Year Raneem Elgedawy and Sixth Player of the Year Dee Givens.
Should the Lady Toppers claim the tournament title, WKU would book a spot in the
NCAA Tournament for the 20th time in program history and fourth time under Michelle
GAMES #30-32 – WKU AT 2018 C-USA CHAMPIONSHIPS
WKU (21-8, 12-4 C-USA) vs. UTSA (8-20, 6-10 C-USA)
March 8, 2018 | 1:30 p.m. (CT)
Frisco, Texas | The Ford Center at The Star (12,000)
– As of March 7, WKU is ranked No. 56 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings and has faced
four teams in the top 40 in Notre Dame, Missouri, Iowa and Ball State. WKU is one of
only two C-USA representatives in the top 100 of the rankings, with UAB second at
– Since joining C-USA prior to the 2014-15 season, WKU has won two of its three
C-USA Tournaments, including taking the championship in 2017 with wins over North
Texas, Louisiana Tech and Southern Miss to claim the program’s 12th conference
– With Tashia Brown’s C-USA Player of the Year and Ivy Brown’s C-USA Defensive
Player of the Year honors, WKU claimed its third sweep in four years in the
categories. WKU is the only team in C-USA history to sweep both awards in the same
season more than one time.
– WKU swept every individual award in which it had a player eligible, including
Player of the Year (Tashia Brown), Defensive Player of the Year (Ivy Brown),
Freshman of the Year (Raneem Elgedawy) and Sixth Player of the Year (Dee Givens).
The Lady Toppers are the first program to sweep all four of those awards in the same
season in C-USA history.
– With Ivy and Tashia Brown earning First Team All-C-USA accolades for the second
time in their careers, WKU became the first school in C-USA history to have multiple
First Teamers in four consecutive seasons. No other C-USA school has achieved that
feat more than one time.
– With the unveiling of the C-USA Tournament bracket on March 3, WKU earned the No.
2 seed and was slotted into the bottom half of the bracket. Each of the four teams
to defeat the Lady Toppers in the regular season (UAB, Rice, Southern Miss and UTEP)
are in the top half of the bracket and would not meet WKU until the championship
– Over its four seasons as a member of C-USA, WKU has never been seeded lower than
No. 3 in the league’s postseason tournament and has twice been the No. 1 seed in
2015 and 2017. No other program in the conference has earned a top three seed in
each of the last four seasons.
– Last season, Sidnee Bopp entered the C-USA Tournament on a hot streak and
maintained that edge through WKU’s three games, being named to the All-Tournament
Team after knocking down 12 of her 23 three-pointers against North Texas, Louisiana
Tech and Southern Miss. In the final regular season game at UTEP, Bopp broke out of
her shooting slump by knocking down three of her four chances from beyond the arc
and is set to carry that momentum into this week in Frisco.
– C-USA Player and Defensive Player of the Year Tashia and Ivy Brown have enjoyed
two of the best individual seasons in WKU history this year, combining for 1,152 of
WKU’s 2,200 points (52.4 percent). Over WKU’s last five games dating back to the
Feb. 15 bout at Middle Tennessee, the pair have combined to tally 215 of the team’s
374 points (57.5 percent). The two are also WKU’s only players averaging more than
30 minutes per game and have combined to attempt 899 of the squad’s 1,860 shots
(48.3 percent) on the year.
– WKU has competed in a postseason conference tournament in the state of Texas just
one time before, traveling to Denton as North Texas hosted the Sun Belt Tournament
in the 2004-05 season. That year, the Lady Toppers knocked off Little Rock in their
first game and reached the semifinals before falling to rival Middle Tennessee,
65-61, on March 7, 2005.
– Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard earned her 150th win with the Lady Toppers against
Marshall on Feb. 17, accomplishing the feat in just 195 total games with the
program. Clark-Heard became the second-fastest Lady Topper coach to reach the mark,
doing so just one game behind Paul Sanderford’s mark of 194 contests. Of
Clark-Heard’s 151 wins, 44 have come by 20 or more points and 16 have been by 30 or
– With 19 points at UTEP, Tashia Brown now sits just six points shy of joining WKU’s
2,000-point club with 1,994 points. Brown has scored 663 points this season, the
seventh-most in a single season in WKU history.
– WKU has flashed its defensive prowess consistently this season, holding opponents
to single-digit points in a quarter 15 times. For the season, opponents have failed
to reach double digits in 13.4 percent of quarters played against the Lady Toppers.
– When holding opponents under 70 points this season, WKU owns a near-perfect 20-1
record and is 125-14 (.899) in that category dating back to the 2012-13 season. The
Lady Toppers have held 13 of their 16 C-USA opponents to fewer than 70 points.
– Tashia Brown tallied a career-best 38 points against Charlotte on Senior Night on
Feb. 23, knocking down 14 of her 29 shots from the field. Brown’s 14 field goals
were tied for the sixth-most in a single game in school history, and her 29 attempts
were tied for the second-most and were the most in a game for WKU since March 19,
– With its win over Marshall on Feb. 17, WKU has now won 20 or more games in all six
seasons under Michelle Clark-Heard dating back to 2012-13. Only nine other non-Power
5 schools have accomplished that feat over the last six years.
– Ivy and Tashia Brown have combined to win 105 games during their four seasons on
The Hill and are seeking to becoming the winningest senior class in WKU history.
Traci Patton (1985-88) currently owns the record with 110 victories.
– WKU is currently shooting 445-of-576 (.773) from the free throw line this season,
with only five players shooting below 80 percent among those who have attempted at
least five free throws. The Lady Toppers’ 445 made free throws lead all C-USA squads
so far this season, and their 77.3 percent success rate tops the league and ranks
11th in the nation.
– WKU owns an impressive record under Clark-Heard when breaking the 80-point
barrier. The Lady Toppers have posted a near-perfect 56-3 mark when scoring 80 or
more since the 2012-13 season; this season, WKU has scored 80 or more points 10
– Tashia Brown leads C-USA and is sixth among all players in the nation with 22.9
points per game in 2017-18. Brown has not scored fewer than 13 points in any single
game this season and has moved into the top 10 in school history in field goals made
(fifth, 753) and free throws made (sixth, 434). Brown also now holds the school
record for field goals attempted for her career with 1,781. Brown has also moved
into the top 10 in attempted free throws (seventh, 595).
– Through 29 games, Ivy Brown has broken into the top 10 in rebounding in school
history, ranking seventh all-time with 949 boards. The Hodgenville, Ky., native is
also fifth in school history with 145 blocks and her 80.1 percent mark from the free
throw line for her career is sixth among all Lady Toppers who have made at least 200
free throws. Brown’s 949 career rebounds also rank 15th in C-USA history.
– Through 29 games, WKU leads all C-USA teams and ranks fifth nationally for the
fewest turnovers per game, giving up the ball only 11.3 times per contest. The Lady
Toppers have had single-digit turnovers in 12 games this season and lead the league
in turnover margin at +7.0 per game.
– WKU has been very strong at collecting its own misses this season. The Lady
Toppers have pulled down a league-leading 16.7 offensive boards per game, and Ivy
Brown leads all C-USA players with 4.2 offensive rebounds per game. WKU’s 16.7
offensive boards also ranks seventh in the nation among Division I teams.
– WKU has started a true freshman at least five times in each of the last four
seasons. Tashia Brown earned five starts in 2014-15, Kayla Smith drew 31 starts in
2015-16, Sarah Price appeared in the starting lineup five times in 2016-17 and
Raneem Elgedawy (29) and Sherry Porter (11) have been consistent starters for the
Lady Toppers this season.
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