BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – After picking up a road win at UTSA on Thursday morning, WKU
will head even further west on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. (CT) as the Lady Toppers
visit the Don Haskins Center to take on UTEP. Last season, WKU dropped an 80-75
decision against the Miners on the road in the regular season finale to fall just
short of a share of the C-USA regular season title.
On Thursday, WKU earned its first-ever road win over UTSA in an 81-62 decision that
saw the Lady Toppers lead for nearly the entire contest. Dee Givens scored a
team-best 25 points, including 22 in the first half, for her fourth outing this
season with 25 or more points.
A win at UTEP on Saturday would give WKU its first-ever sweep of the west Texas road
trip since joining C-USA in 2014-15. The Lady Toppers won at UTEP in 2014-15 and
2016-17, but did not win at UTSA until Thursday morning.
Zuzanna Puc (12.4) and Ariona Gill (10.5) lead the Miners in scoring this season,
with Puc doubling as the team’s leading rebounder at a 6.7 per game clip. Jordan
Jenkins is the team’s leader with 46 total assists in 19 appearances. UTEP enters
Saturday’s game having lost seven straight games and nine of their last 10 outings.
Following Saturday’s battle, WKU will return to E.A. Diddle Arena for a critical
matchup against C-USA leader Rice, who is undefeated in conference play, on Thursday
at 6 p.m.
GAME #23 / C-USA GAME #9 – WKU AT UTEP
WKU (13-9, 7-1 C-USA) at UTEP (4-17, 1-7 C-USA)
February 2, 2019 | 2:00 p.m. (CT)
El Paso, Texas | Don Haskins Center (12,000)
– Thursday’s win at UTSA was WKU’s first-ever road victory over the Roadrunners
after previously falling in San Antonio in 2014-15 and 2016-17. WKU now has at least
one road win over each of the other 13 C-USA member since joining the league.
– WKU has had back-to-back games with 50 or more points in the first half, scoring
53 last Saturday against Louisiana Tech before adding 52 against UTSA on Thursday.
The Lady Toppers also had a 50-point first half earlier this season against Southern
Illinois on Nov. 20. The three first halves with at least 50 points are WKU’s most
in one season since having four in 2013-14.
– The Lady Toppers are the lone team with two players in the top five in scoring in
C-USA play heading into Saturday’s contest. Dee Givens averages 19.5 points per game
and ranks second, while Raneem Elgedawy is third in the rankings, scoring 19.1
points per outing.
– A win at UTEP on Saturday would give WKU its first-ever sweep of the west Texas
road trip since joining C-USA in 2014-15. The Lady Toppers won at UTEP in 2014-15
and 2016-17, but did not win at UTSA until Thursday morning.
– Among the 23 first-time Division I head coaches this season, Greg Collins is
currently tied for second with his 13 victories, trailing only Minnesota’s Lindsay
Whalen with 14 wins. 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 77.0
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 11 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 35-3 when shooting 50 percent or better.
– At FIU on Jan. 17, Dee Givens (31) and Raneem Elgedawy (28) both scored
career-highs in points and paired to score 59 of WKU’s 94 points against the
Panthers. Givens and Elgedawy’s 59 combined points were the most by any Lady Topper
duo in a single game since Crystal Kelly (38) and current assistant coach Tiffany
Porter-Talbert (21) also had 59 against Charlotte on Nov. 22, 2005.
– Through 22 games, both the single-season makes and percentage record in school
history are potentially in sight for the Lady Toppers. WKU has knocked down 154
triples this season and is chasing the record of 242 set in 2016-17, while the Lady
Toppers are shooting 37.7 percent (154-of-409) from beyond the arc, a mark that
would rank fifth in program history.
– Since joining C-USA prior to the 2014-15 campaign, WKU has earned 29 road
victories in conference play. That number tops victory totals for all but one C-USA
program (Middle Tennessee, 29) on their own home courts over the same span.
– Sherry Porter has enjoyed a strong sophomore season, averaging 7.0 points per game
and starting all but seven games. However, her star has shined even brighter since
conference play began, including her career-best 20-point performance against
Marshall. In C-USA play, Porter is averaging 8.9 points per game and owns the
league’s second-best free throw percentage (.920, 23-of-25).
– Over its first five seasons as a member of Conference USA, WKU owns a 66-11 mark
against the rest of the league since joining and posted a 12-4 record last season.
– Legendary Lady Topper Basketball head coach Paul Sanderford was named one of 12
finalists for the 2019 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame on Jan. 10. Sanderford won
365 games and reached three Final Fours in 15 seasons at the helm of the Lady
– This season, WKU’s defense has limited its opponents to fewer than 70 points on 11
occasions, coming away with a win in all but one of those games. Over the last three
seasons dating back to 2016-17, the Lady Toppers have posted a 53-4 record when
holding their opponents under 70 points, including a perfect 33-0 mark when limiting
them to fewer than 60 points.
– Dee Givens has 65 total steals, an average of 3.0 per game, this season, a number
that ranks 14th among all qualifying Division I players. Givens’ 65 steals is also
the top mark among all C-USA players. Givens enjoyed a breakout defensive game with
eight steals against Marshall, tied for the most by a C-USA player this season and
the most by a Lady Topper since Kendall Noble’s school-record 10 at North Texas on
Feb. 5, 2015.
– 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’ .872
(82-of-94) percentage ranks sixth in the nation among all Division I players who
have attempted at least 90 free throws this season.
– WKU moved one step closer to the 1,000-win plateau with its victory at UTSA on
Jan. 31. The Lady Toppers now sit just three wins shy of becoming the 10th program
in Division I history to reach that mark.
– Under Greg Collins, WKU has featured a revamped, fast-paced offensive attack this
season and is averaging 77.0 points per game through 22 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 has been efficient at forcing turnovers this season, forcing its opponents
into an average of 18 giveaways per game. The Lady Toppers have forced double-digit
turnovers in 74 straight games dating back to a Jan. 7, 2017, contest at Old
– Through 22 games, Raneem Elgedawy and Meral Abdelgawad have combined to score 589
of WKU’s 1,695 points, just over a third of the team’s total. In addition to their
scoring, the duo has combined for 235 rebounds, also just under a third of the
team’s total of 726.
– 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, 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.
– WKU put together an 11-1 record inside Diddle Arena last season and has posted an
82-16 record inside the friendly confines of its home arena since Greg Collins has
been with the program in 2012-13. The Lady Toppers started a new winning streak in
their 81-76 win over Louisiana Tech on Jan. 26.
– 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.
– 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.
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