BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU will finally wrap up a frantic part of its non-conference
schedule on Saturday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. as the Lady Toppers head west to take on
Little Rock, ending a stretch of six games in 12 days that featured three games in
Canada. Saturday’s game is a renewal of the old Sun Belt rivalry between the two
sides and is WKU’s 30th all-time meeting with the Trojans.
In the Lady Toppers’ last time out, the squad rode hot three-point shooting
(12-of-21, 57.1 percent) past Morgan State inside Diddle Arena on Wednesday night.
Sherry Porter scored a career-best 17 points and Arame Niang totaled a double-double
with 15 points and 13 boards.
Dee Givens led all scorers on Wednesday with 20 points, already her fifth 20-point
effort through nine games this season. The redshirt junior has also been incredibly
efficient, knocking down 56 of her 117 shots (47.9 percent) from the field,
including 7-for-9 against Morgan State.
Little Rock heads into Saturday’s bout having dropped its last four contests,
falling most recently against No. 6 Mississippi State, 98-63, on Wednesday. Ronjanae
DeGray (11.8) and Kyra Collier (11.2) are the lone Trojans in double figures for
scoring; Little Rock has held three of its opponents to 60 points or fewer and is
allowing only 65.7 points per game.
WKU will be off for a week before taking the court next Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
inside Diddle Arena against in-state foe and Division II powerhouse Bellarmine.
GAME #10 – WKU AT LITTLE ROCK
WKU (3-6, 0-0 C-USA) at Little Rock (2-4, 0-0 Sun Belt)
December 1, 2018 | 5:30 p.m.
Little Rock, Ark. | Jack Stephens Center (5,600)
– Arame Niang tallied her first career double-double against the Lady Bears with 15
points and 13 rebounds, becoming the first Lady Topper to have a double-double off
the bench since Dee Givens against FIU on Jan. 11, 2018.
– Sherry Porter had one of the best nights of her career since joining the Lady
Toppers last season, pouring in a career-best 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting against
Morgan State. Porter was also a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
– WKU moved one step closer to the 1,000-win plateau with its victory over Morgan
State on Wednesday. The Lady Toppers now sit just 13 wins shy of becoming the 10th
program in Division I history to reach that mark.
– Dee Givens tallied 20 more points against Morgan State on 7-of-9 shooting from the
field and has scored 20 or more points in five games this season, already the
highest total of her career.
– Under Greg Collins, WKU has featured a revamped, fast-paced offensive attack this
season and is averaging 76.7 points per game through nine 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
19.1 points against WKU’s first nine opponents to begin the season. Through nine
games, Givens is averaging one point every 96 seconds that she is on the floor.
– WKU’s defense has pressured all nine of its opponents into double-digit turnovers
thus far on the season. Through nine games, the Lady Toppers have forced an average
of 16.9 turnovers per game to open the 2018-19 season.
– Through nine games, Raneem Elgedawy and Meral Abdelgawad have combined to score
215 of WKU’s 690 points, just under a third of the team’s total. In addition to
their scoring, the duo has combined for 91 rebounds, also just under a third of the
team’s total of 312.
– Through nine games this season, WKU has significantly raised its three-point
shooting percentage from last season, knocking down 70 of its 179 (39.1 percent)
attempts thus far. Last season, the Lady Toppers were 34.8 percent from beyond the
arc. The current 39.1 percent mark would rank third in program history for a single
season, the highest since a 40.2 percent mark in 1992-93.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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
76-14 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 second straight home
victory on Wednesday, defeating Morgan State, 90-43, inside Diddle Arena.
– 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)