BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – After two straight rallies from second-half deficits, WKU will
take the court in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) Round of 16 on
Thursday evening, squaring off against Ohio inside The Convocation Center against a
Bobcats squad that was among the first teams left out of an at-large bid to the NCAA
Despite trailing 33-30 at halftime against Morehead State on Sunday, the Lady
Toppers fought past the Eagles thanks to 42 combined points from Dee Givens (23) and
Alexis Brewer (19), surviving a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have forced
overtime in the 68-65 win.
With a win on Thursday night, WKU would advance to the quarterfinals and square off
against the winner of the West Virginia-Northwestern matchup between March 30-31. A
finalized date, location and time will not be set until the two participants are
All-C-USA First Teamer Dee Givens leads WKU into the second round with 17.8 points
per game and is joined in double figures by Second Teamer Raneem Elgedawy (15.5) and
Alexis Brewer (11.3). Elgedawy is the team’s leading rebounder at 7.7 boards per
contest, and Whitney Creech has dished out a team high 111 assists compared to only
51 turnovers this year.
Ohio features a high-flying offense averaging 77.1 points per game with five players
in double figures led by Cierra Hooks’ 17.6 points per game mark.
GAME #35 – WKU AT OHIO
WKU (20-14, 11-5 C-USA) at Ohio (29-5, 14-4 MAC)
March 28, 2019 | 6:00 p.m. (CT)
Athens, Ohio | Ohio University Convocation Center (13,080)
– WKU has an 18-13 all-time record in the WNIT and made a run to the 2016
quarterfinals in its most recent appearance, defeating Dayton and UT Martin at home
and Saint Louis on the road in overtime before falling at eventual champion South
– WKU rallied from a halftime deficit for the second straight game against Morehead
State and have accomplished that feat five times this season. In the 2016-17 and
2017-18 seasons combined, WKU won after trailing at the break just four total times.
The fourth quarter has been WKU’s top-scoring quarter this season, with 656 of the
team’s 2,477 total points.
– Dee Givens could hit two milestones on Thursday evening. With two steals, she
would become just the second player in WKU history with 100 steals in a season, and
14 points would give her one of the top 10 scoring seasons by an individual in
– With its win over Morehead State in the second round of the WNIT, WKU secured its
seventh consecutive 20-win seasons, hitting that mark in every year that Greg
Collins has been on staff. The seven straight 20-win season streak matches the
program record set under Paul Sanderford from 1982-83 to 1988-89. In WKU’s modern
era (since 1973-74), six of the 11 head coaches have captured 20-win seasons in
their debut years on The Hill, most recently with Greg Collins this season.
– WKU is one of only 18 Division I programs with an active streak of at least seven
straight 20-win seasons, joining perennial powers such as UConn, Louisville, Baylor
and Maryland in the category.
– Of its 31 games in the Postseason WNIT, WKU has played 15 on the road. In those 15
games, WKU holds a 5-10 overall record, including its win at Miami (Ohio) in the
first round last Thursday.
– After not traveling to the Buckeye State for nearly seven years, WKU will be
making its second trip to Ohio in a week after taking on Miami (Ohio) in Oxford last
Thursday. WKU owns a perfect 6-0 record in the series against the Bobcats, including
a 3-0 mark in Athens, but the two sides have not met since a 79-61 Lady Topper
victory on Dec. 6, 1993.
– Over her last nine games, Alexis Brewer is averaging 13.8 points per game, well
above her season average of 11.3, and has scored in double figures in seven of those
nine outings. Brewer led the team in scoring during the C-USA Tournament, totaling
28 points across WKU’s pair of games in Frisco, and was one of only two Lady Toppers
to hit multiple three-pointers in the event.
– With her 23-point performance at Marshall on Feb. 23, Dee Givens became the 40th
member of Lady Topper Basketball’s 1,000-point club and now has 1,120 points for her
career. Givens became the seventh player to join the club since Greg Collins has
been on staff in 2012-13, joining Chastity Gooch, Alexis Govan, Kendall Noble, Micah
Jones, Tashia Brown and Ivy Brown.
– WKU’s 69-66 overtime win at Marshall on Feb. 23 was its first in extra time since
defeating Kent State, 79-73, in overtime on Nov. 26, 2016. The overtime win was also
WKU’s first in a true road game since its WNIT victory at Saint Louis on March 25,
2016, that ended on Sidnee Bopp’s left corner buzzer-beater.
– Among the 23 first-time Division I head coaches this season, Greg Collins is
currently third with his 20 victories, trailing only Minnesota’s Lindsay Whalen and
Northern Colorado’s Jenny Huth. 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 72.9 per game clip.
– WKU has enjoyed one of its best shooting seasons in recent memory and has hit the
50 percent mark from the floor in 14 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 37-4 when shooting 50 percent or better.
– Dee Givens and Raneem Elgedawy have twice combined for more than 50 points this
season, forming a strong scoring duo for the Lady Toppers. At FIU, the pair combined
for 59 points as both had career-high performances, and the two also combined for 53
points at UTEP as the Lady Topper engineering a 12-point come-from-behind victory
over the Miners.
– Through 34 games, the Lady Toppers are on pace to finish second in school history
for three-pointers made in a single season. WKU has knocked down 208 triples this
season and is chasing the record of 242 set in 2016-17. WKU’s 208 makes has given
the Lady Toppers more than 200 three-pointers in a single year for just the second
time in school history.
– WKU has captured 32 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 32 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 71-17 mark
against the rest of the league since joining and posted an 11-5 record this season.
– This season, WKU’s defense has limited its opponents to fewer than 70 points on 20
occasions, coming away with a win in all but three of those games. Over the last
three seasons dating back to 2016-17, the Lady Toppers have posted a 60-6 record
when holding their opponents under 70 points, including a perfect 34-0 mark when
limiting them to fewer than 60 points.
– Dee Givens has 98 total steals, an average of 2.9 per game, this season, a number
that ranks 13th among all qualifying Division I players. Givens’ 98 steals is also
the top mark among all C-USA players. Givens had her second game of the season with
eight steals at North Texas on March 2 and is one of only seven Division I players
(and the only C-USA player) this season with multiple games of eight or more steals.
– 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’ .860
(154-of-179) percentage ranks third in single-season history for the Lady Toppers,
trailing only Natalie Powers (.874) and Laurie Townsend (.869).
– Under Greg Collins, WKU has featured a revamped, fast-paced offensive attack this
season and is averaging 72.9 points per game through 33 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’s defense has pressured all but one of its 34 opponents into double-digit
turnovers thus far on the season. Through 34 games, the Lady Toppers have forced an
average of 16.9 turnovers per game to open the 2018-19 season.
– Through 34 games, Raneem Elgedawy and Meral Abdelgawad have combined to score 811
of WKU’s 2,477 points, just under a third of the team’s total. In addition to their
scoring, the duo has combined for 344 rebounds, also just under a third of the
team’s total of 1,094.
– 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 and met
or exceeded their preseason expectations for the third straight season. In 2016-17,
WKU won the regular season title after being picked first, and the Lady Toppers
finished second after being picked second last season. This year, the Lady Toppers
finished in a tie for third place.
– WKU put together a 10-6 record inside Diddle Arena this season and has posted an
84-18 record inside the friendly confines of its home arena since Greg Collins has
been with the program in 2012-13.
– 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.
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