IRVING, Texas – One day after three players earned All-C-USA team accolades, three
Lady Toppers have picked up individual honors from the conference office as
announced Tuesday morning, with Ivy Brown being named C-USA Defensive Player of the
Year, Raneem Elgedawy picking up C-USA Freshman of the Year honors and Dee Givens
bringing home the C-USA Sixth Player of the Year award.
With Brown’s Defensive Player of the Year award, WKU has now captured that honor in
three of its four seasons as a member of the league; Lady Topper legend Kendall
Noble won the award twice following the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Elgedawy and
Givens are the first Lady Toppers to be named Freshman and Sixth Player of the Year
since WKU’s move to the league four years ago.
Overall, WKU is the first C-USA school to sweep all three awards in a single season,
and the three individual player honors are the most that the Lady Toppers have
earned in a single season in program history.
The other half of WKU’s dynamic duo alongside Tashia Brown, Ivy Brown has emerged as
a nightly double-double threat in 2017-18 with a C-USA-best 15; Brown is one of only
seven players in WKU history with 15 or more points-rebounds double-doubles in a
single season, and her 33 career double-doubles rank sixth in program history. The
2014 Miss Kentucky Basketball leads all C-USA players with 9.8 rebounds per game
this season and ranks second in the conference with 2.5 steals and 1.6 blocks per
Despite her imposing presence in the low post, Brown has also established herself as
one of the top three-point shooters in the conference, ranking fifth in the league
by knocking down 42.1 percent (56-of-133) of her shots from beyond the arc. Brown
bookended her regular season with career-best 31-point games at Iowa (Nov. 11) and
UTEP (March 3) en route to picking up her second straight First Team honors.
Arguably already the top international player to ever suit up for the Lady Toppers,
Elgedawy has enjoyed one of the strongest freshman campaigns for WKU in recent
memory. She has started all 29 games for WKU and is averaging 8.8 points and 7.3
rebounds per game with five double-doubles, the most in a single season by a WKU
freshman since Crystal Kelly in 2004-05.
The only freshman ranked in the top 15 in C-USA in rebounding this season, Elgedawy
also leads all freshmen in the league with her 48.1 percent shooting mark from the
field and ranks second with 1.2 blocks per game. In one of the top performances by
any WKU player this season, Elgedawy hauled down 23 rebounds against FIU on Jan. 11;
those 23 boards were the most by a freshman and third-most overall in a single game
in school history while also matching the C-USA record for the most rebounds by a
single player in a league contest.
Elgedawy is WKU’s first Freshman of the Year honoree by a conference office since
Kendall Noble claimed the honor from the Sun Belt during the 2013-14 campaign as a
After breaking out in the Hawkeye Challenge as a starter at the beginning of the
season, Givens settled into her role as WKU’s spark off the bench, being the first
player off the bench in 10 of WKU’s contests. The redshirt sophomore helped to key
the Lady Toppers’ upset of then-No. 16 Missouri in the season opener with a
career-best 20 points and added 16 more in the near-upset of Iowa on its home floor
on Nov. 11.
Givens took her play to a new level in C-USA action, averaging 10.5 points and 4.9
rebounds per game. The Lexington, Ky., native collected her first career
double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds against FIU on Jan. 11 and reached
double figures in scoring in nine of WKU’s 16 conference outings, including a streak
of seven straight games from Jan. 6 through Jan. 28.
Brown, Elgedawy and Givens will lead the Lady Toppers into this week’s C-USA
Tournament at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, as the No. 2 seed. WKU
(21-8, 12-4 C-USA) is set to take on the winner of Wednesday’s Florida Atlantic-UTSA
bout on Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. (CT).