ATHENS, Ohio – Lady Topper Basketball’s 2018-19 season came to a close in the
Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) Round of 16 on Thursday evening in a
68-60 setback against Ohio inside the Ohio Convocation Center.
Alexis Brewer led the way for the Lady Toppers (20-15) with 14 points, 12 of which
came on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Whitney Creech closed out her junior
season with another strong effort, tallying 13 points and dishing out a game-high
six assists, and both Dee Givens (11) and Raneem Elgedawy (11) rounded out the WKU
contingent in double figures for scoring.
As a team, WKU shot 40.7 percent (22-of-54) for the game and was 6-for-15 (40
percent) from three-point range. The Lady Toppers limited a dangerous Ohio outside
attack to just 7-for-26 shooting (26.9 percent) from outside the arc.
WKU ends its 2018-19 campaign with 20 wins for the seventh straight season, one of
just 18 Division I programs with an active streak of at least seven 20-win
campaigns. In Head Coach Greg Collins’ first year at the helm, Collins guided the
Lady Toppers to a tie for third place in the C-USA regular season standings,
outperforming their preseason expectations, and won three postseasons contests,
downing Old Dominion in the C-USA Tournament before knocking off Miami (Ohio) and
Morehead State in the WNIT.
Cierra Hooks led all scorers with 21 points for the Bobcats (30-5) and was joined in
double figures by Amani Burke (15), Gabby Burris (12) and Erica Johnson (11). Burris
also added 11 rebounds to finish with a double-double. Ohio finished the night
25-of-55 (45.5 percent) from the field and was 11-of-15 (73.3 percent) from the free
Two three-pointers in the opening five minutes from Brewer paced the Lady Toppers to
an early lead, with her second triple breaking a tie and handing WKU an 8-5
advantage at the 5:14 mark. Ohio fired back with four straight points, but a layup
from Elgedawy reestablished a one-point edge for the Lady Toppers just a minute
From there, the Bobcats finished the opening quarter on a 10-4 run, sparked by
triples from Dominique Doseck and Olivia Bower, with the latter’s three-pointer the
final basket of the frame that pushed the Ohio lead to 19-12 after the opening 10
Doseck built a double-digit lead for the Bobcats by opening the second quarter with
another three-pointer, but the Lady Toppers battled their way back into the game
with 10 straight points as part of a larger 16-2 run. Four different Lady Toppers
scored during the five-minute scoring stretch, with Givens and Elgedawy each
tallying five points apiece as WKU surged to a 28-24 lead on Creech’s pullup with
3:29 to play before the halftime break.
Both sides matched one another nearly basket-for-basket down the stretch, including
Arame Niang’s three-pointer on WKU’s final possession of the frame. Ultimately,
Burke’s cutting layup at the buzzer gave the Bobcats a slim 32-31 lead entering the
Ohio pushed the lead to as many as nine points late in the third quarter after a
triple by Burke with 2:16 on the clock, but the Lady Toppers again rallied back as
Givens knocked down a three-pointer of her own and Creech followed with a driving
layup on consecutive possessions, cutting the Bobcats’ lead to just four points with
under a minute left in the frame.
Brewer struck from three-point range yet again to open the fourth quarter after a
Jae’Lisa Allen offensive board, but WKU was unable to close the gap any further over
the final nine minutes. Though Ohio’s lead grew to as many as 11 points, the Lady
Toppers scored the game’s final three points to cut the gap back to single digits,
eventually falling by the final 68-60 scoreline.