CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Junior Tashia Brown became the 37th member of Lady Topper Basketball’s 1,000-point club on Saturday afternoon, leading all scorers with 18 points in WKU’s 85-65 victory over Austin Peay inside the Winfield Dunn Center.
Brown finished the afternoon with 9-of-15 shooting and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark on a layup at the 7:18 mark of the fourth quarter. The Lake Park, Ga., native joins teammate Kendall Noble in the prestigious club and becomes the fourth player under Michelle Clark-Heard to reach 1,000 career points. Following her 18-point outing on Saturday, Brown has tallied 1,001 points on The Hill.
She was joined in double figures by Noble (12), Micah Jones (11), Jaycee Coe (11) and Ivy Brown (10) on the afternoon. Ivy Brown pulled down a game-high and career-best 15 rebounds against the Lady Govs, including six on the offensive glass, and Jones, Noble and Tashia Brown each dished out a trio of assists.
Malaka Frank came up big on the defensive end in 18 minutes of action for the Lady Toppers (5-3), grabbing five steals to lead all players.
Austin Peay (5-4) was led by 16 points from Brianne Alexander. The Lady Govs also had double-digit efforts from Tearra Banks (15) and Falon Baker (11) on the day. WKU’s victory was the Lady Toppers’ eighth straight win over the Lady Govs.
Neither side could gain more than a three-point advantage during the opening quarter in a tight early battle. Back-to-back baskets from Ivy and Tashia Brown put the Lady Toppers ahead, 8-5, at the 4:18 mark, but Austin Peay quickly erased the WKU lead with a pair of quick jumpers of their own. Baker’s three-pointer with just over a minute remaining gave Austin Peay a one-point lead, but Frank’s free throw in the final seconds knotted the two sides at 13-13 after 10 minutes.
Both sides remained close early in the second quarter as they battled to a 17-17 draw. Over the final eight minutes, however, WKU broke open the contest with a 27-7 run spanning the remainder of the half. Seven different Lady Toppers scored during the run, including eight points from Coe and a jumper from the top of the key by Jones at the very end of the quarter. Following the big run, WKU carried a 44-24 lead into the locker room.
WKU maintained its 20-point cushion until the 2:53 mark of the third quarter, when Jacey Scott’s three-pointer trimmed Austin Peay’s deficit to 18, 63-45. After briefly rebuilding a 20-point lead off Frank’s three-point play, Austin Peay’s April Rivers knocked down a three-pointer with under a minute to play to cut the WKU lead to 67-50 heading into the final quarter.
The Lady Toppers protected their large lead through the fourth quarter, refusing to allow the Lady Govs any closer than 17 points. WKU’s lead grew to as many as 24 points following an Ivy Brown jumper with 3:46 to play and the Lady Toppers held off Austin Peay down the stretch to claim the 85-65 victory.
WKU will now be off for its annual exam break and will return to action next Sunday, Dec. 11, at 1 p.m. (CT) at No. 7/7 Louisville inside the KFC Yum! Center. The Lady Toppers defeated the then-No. 16 Cardinals 71-69 in the most recent meeting on Nov. 21, 2015, inside E.A. Diddle Arena on Kayla Smith’s go-ahead basket in the final minute. WKU leads the all-time series against Louisville by a 25-19 margin but has won just two of the eight most recent meetings dating back to 2003.
How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Lady Topper Basketball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the program via social media @LadyTopperHoops on Twitter, @LadyTopperHoops on Instagram and on Facebook at facebook.com/WKUWomensBasketball.