BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – After being off for a week since its last outing, WKU will take
the court at E.A. Diddle Arena on Saturday afternoon to battle in-state Division II
foe Bellarmine. Though the two sides have met recently in preseason exhibition
action, Saturday’s bout will be the first regular season meeting between the two
since a 76-44 WKU win on Jan. 6, 1979.
In the Lady Toppers’ last time out, WKU picked up its first true road win under Greg
Collins, knocking off former Sun Belt rival Little Rock, 68-56, after rallying from
an early six-point deficit. The Lady Toppers outscored the Trojans 37-26 in the
second half to take control of the game.
Raneem Elgedawy totaled the second 20-rebound game of her career as well as her
second double-double of the year with 17 points and 21 boards, and Dee Givens hit
the 20-point mark for the sixth time this season, leading all scorers with 22 points
at Little Rock.
Bellarmine will head to Diddle Arena with a 5-1 record this season, and Saturday’s
game will be considered an exhibition for the Knights. Lauren Deel (12.8) and Liza
Tibbs (11.2) lead Bellarmine in scoring this season, and Tibbs is also the team’s
leading rebounder at a 7.5 per game clip.
The Lady Toppers will have another long layoff before their next game, remaining at
home to take on Ball State on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 5 p.m. in the second half of a
doubleheader with the Hilltopper men’s team.
GAME #11 – WKU VS. BELLARMINE
WKU (4-6, 0-0 C-USA) vs. Bellarmine (5-1, 0-1 Great Lakes Valley)
December 8, 2018 | 2:00 p.m.
Bowling Green, Ky. | E.A. Diddle Arena (7,523)
– Raneem Elgedawy is one of only two Lady Toppers in school history with multiple
career 20-rebound games, joining former standout Arnika Brown. Elgedawy’s 21
rebounds at Little Rock were also the most by any C-USA player in a game this
– A member of the Brown family will be playing inside Diddle Arena for the fifth
straight year on Saturday, as Presley Brown, the younger sister of former Lady
Topper great and 2014 Miss Kentucky Basketball Ivy Brown, is on the roster for
– Dating back to the Oregon State game on Nov. 22, Dee Givens has connected on 28
consecutive free throws and was 11-for-11 at Little Rock. Givens’ .917 (44-of-48)
percentage ranks third in the nation among players who have attempted at least 40
free throws this season.
– WKU moved one step closer to the 1,000-win plateau with its victory at Little Rock
last Saturday. The Lady Toppers now sit just 12 wins shy of becoming the 10th
program in Division I history to reach that mark.
– Dee Givens tallied 22 more points at Little Rock and has scored 20 or more points
in six 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 75.8 points per game through 10 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.
– 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
19.4 points through 10 games this season. The redshirt junior is averaging one point
every 95 seconds that she has been on the court, slightly faster than 2018 C-USA
Player of the Year Tashia Brown.
– WKU’s defense has pressured all 10 of its opponents into double-digit turnovers
thus far on the season. Through 10 games, the Lady Toppers have forced an average of
16.5 turnovers per game to open the 2018-19 season.
– Through 10 games, Raneem Elgedawy and Meral Abdelgawad have combined to score 236
of WKU’s 758 points, just under a third of the team’s total. In addition to their
scoring, the duo has combined for 112 rebounds, also just under a third of the
team’s total of 350.
– Through 10 games this season, WKU has significantly raised its three-point
shooting percentage from last season, knocking down 73 of its 192 (38.0 percent)
attempts thus far. Last season, the Lady Toppers were 34.8 percent from beyond the
arc. The current 38.0 percent mark would rank fifth 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.
– 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; John Butler, analysis)