BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Coming off a season in which it captured the C-USA regular
season and tournament titles, WKU will open its 2017-18 campaign on Thursday evening
at 7 p.m. inside E.A. Diddle Arena as the Lady Toppers welcome Union (Tenn.) for an
Under Michelle Clark-Heard, the Lady Toppers have won each of their last six
exhibition contests by an average of 43.7 points, including a 47-point win over
Young Harris College last season. WKU has won all six open exhibitions since the
2012-13 season by more than 30 points.
The Lady Toppers return their one-two punch of Preseason All-C-USA selections Tashia
and Ivy Brown, along with C-USA All-Tournament Team choice Sidnee Bopp, Kayla Smith,
Dee Givens, Malaka Frank and Whitney Creech.
Union, located in Jackson, Tenn., is led by longtime head coach Mark Campbell, who
is entering his 19th season with the program. Last season, the Lady Bulldogs posted
a 17-12 overall record and a 12-10 mark in Gulf South Conference play at the
Division II level. In 2016-17, Bria Gaines led Union with 13.9 points and 7.4
rebounds, and the Lady Bulldogs also return double-digit scorers in Jada Smith
(13.5) and Jada Perkins (10.5).
Following Thursday’s game, WKU will open its regular season on Friday, Nov. 10,
against No. 16 Missouri in the 2017 Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa.
WKU (0-0, 0-0 C-USA) vs. Union (Tenn.) (0-0, 0-0 Gulf South)
November 2, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. (CT)
Bowling Green, Ky. | E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326)
– WKU has won 33 consecutive exhibition games and owns a perfect 6-0 mark in the
contests under Michelle Clark-Heard. Last season, the Lady Toppers defeated Young
Harris College, 98-51, inside Diddle Arena.
– Tashia and Ivy Brown were selected as members of the 2017-18 Preseason All-C-USA
Team, making WKU the only school with two different players selected. Both are
coming off strong seasons that saw Ivy earn First Team All-C-USA honors, while
Tashia was named to the All-C-USA Second Team in 2016-17.
– WKU was picked second in the Preseason C-USA Coaches’ Poll with eight first-place
votes. The Lady Toppers have been selected in the top three in all four seasons as a
member of the league.
– Michelle Clark-Heard’s 130 wins over her first five seasons with the program are
the most in that category of any coach in school history, surpassing the legendary
Paul Sanderford’s mark of 127 from 1982-83 through 1986-87.
– Already 21st in program history with 1,331 career points, Tashia Brown is looking
to move even further up the charts during her senior season. To move into the top 10
in school history, Brown would need to score 432 points during her final season on
– Over its first three seasons as a member of Conference USA, WKU has established
itself as a formidable opponent against the league’s 13 other teams. The Lady
Toppers own a 47-7 mark against the rest of the league since joining and posted a
16-2 record last season.
– Preseason All-C-USA pick Ivy Brown returns as one of the top post players in the
conference after averaging 13.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game with eight
double-doubles last season. Among all returning C-USA players, Brown is the lone
individual who ranked in the top 15 in the league in both scoring (15th) and
rebounding (fourth) last season.
– The breakout star of the 2017 C-USA Tournament, junior Sidnee Bopp exploded onto
the scene by making 20 three-pointers over WKU’s final five games in 2016-17, nearly
doubling her entire career output up to that point. Bopp finished as C-USA’s leader
in three-point percentage (.442) last season, a number that was also the fifth-best
single-season mark in WKU history.
– WKU put together 14-1 record inside Diddle Arena last season and has posted a
63-11 record inside the friendly confines of its home arena since Michelle
Clark-Heard took over the program in 2012-13. The Lady Toppers currently sport a
13-game winning streak inside Diddle Arena dating back to their 85-74 win over
then-No. 23 Indiana on Nov. 19 last season.
Listen: 102.7 FM and 1450AM in Bowling Green (Jevin Redman, pxp)
Watch: C-USA TV (Audio Only) ($$)
Live Stats: WKUSports.com
How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Lady Topper
Basketball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the program via social media
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